On Christmas morning, we decided to head to Sandringham- the Queen's winter residence. It is only about a 35-40 minute drive from our house, so we knew we had to check this off our bucket list. Every Christmas morning, they open the gates and allow the public on to the grounds of Sandringham to stand outside the church where the royal family goes for Christmas service. You can line the path from the house to the church and the family (all except for the Queen) walks to church and tells everyone "Happy Christmas" and "hello" while walking down the path. The Queen takes a car. They go in to church, have service and then emerge and chat with the public. The Queen stands at the corner of the church and the children are allowed to present her with flowers.
This year, however, there were more people than usual- presumably because everyone turned out hoping to get a glimpse of Prince George. Because of the number of people, they split the line of children in two and only half got to see the Queen. My kids were in the other line and initially I was bummed about that, but the way it worked out, I got better pictures of them, and they got to give flowers to Kate!
Here is Zoe, in her Queen-meeting outfit:
With her flowers to present to the Queen:
Noah and Zoe in line- after the line was split. The line next to the fence got to meet the Queen.
The Queen (in the orange coat) emerging from the church
The kids in line waiting while the royal family comes out of the church up on the hill
We were delighted to discover that some of the other royals- while normally going down the path back to the house which is in an entirely different direction- decided to walk down the line of children that weren't meeting the Queen. Here is Prince William right in front of Noah and Zoe! He walked down the line and asked if any of the kids wanted to give their flowers to him… and none did- they wanted to give them to Kate. He laughed and one little girl gave him her flowers.
It's Kate (Duchess Catherine)- right in front of my kids!
She's smiling at Noah! He said she told then "Happy Christmas".
Noah giving his flowers to her:
Now, I was trying to get a picture of the Queen (in the orange coat and black hat) but this shoulder kept getting in the way of my lens and I was annoyed until I discovered whose shoulder it was!
It's Prince Harry!! Look- he's looking at me!!
Seriously- look how close he is!!
And then he walked right in front of me!
It was really very cold that morning and there was quite a bit of waiting around before we were able to see the family. Zoe had a meltdown at one point and DJ had to take her to sit in the car- she was just too cold! But, thankfully, they got back in time for her to present her flowers! I am hoping she doesn't remember that misery this coming Christmas and I can talk her into going back so she can meet the Queen this time!
My Christmas post wouldn't be a proper post without our family photos. We decided- because we are, well.. US- that if we were taking a family photo, it was going to represent our family. So- I went shopping and got the most spectacularly tacky Christmas jumpers and accessories I could find. And we suited up for photos with my camera on a timer. I gotta say… I LOVE them!!
A proper family Christmas photo!
I mean, if you know us personally, this is totally normal!
More family photo awesomeness! We titled this one: "We just found out we were on Santa's 'naughty list' !"
We can be somewhat normal at times:
I was just so sad that I found this little gem AFTER family pictures! Oh well, there is always next Christmas….
And finally, I had to include these two photos of myself and the two kids on their last day of school before Christmas break in our Christmas jumpers. The one of Noah and I cracks me up because I handed Zoe my phone and asked her to take a picture of us in our Christmas jumpers. Well… she got the jumpers in the photo… I guess my face is unimportant!