Carole Middleton has opened up about the family Christmas the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children are set to enjoy this year at the family home in Berkshire.
Dedicated grandmother Carole, 63, has plenty of trees around the £4.7million mansion in Bucklebury and her grandchildren Prince George and Princess Charlotte even get their very own fir each in their bedrooms ‘so that they can decorate it themselves’, the Telegraph reported.
She also has one ‘fashionable’ tree with a clear theme, another filled with baubles from over the years and a final tree her children can decorate however they please.
The royal couple will also have a vegan option for Christmas dinner, while Carole’s attention to detail extends to choosing a theme for the gift wrapping.
Kate and William are expected to skip Sandringham with the Queen this year, amid rumours of a frosty atmosphere between the Cambridges and Prince Harry and his wife Meghan – with the Middleton home providing the perfect escape.
Carole Middleton, pictured, should host the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge for Christmas dinner this year
The doting grandmother has a tree in each of her grandchildren’s bedrooms for them to decorate
Starting her planning early, the self-described ‘list-maker’ admitted she began just after Halloween – and even comes up with a theme for wrapping paper, such as all-red.
On the day, the family usually head off to church in the morning before going on a walk ahead of opening their presents.
Lunch is smoked salmon with champagne, before the full Christmas dinner in the evening – with the Cambridges being treated to a vegan option this year.
Carole told the Telegraph: ‘I’ve recently gone vegan. Or maybe that should be flexitarian.
Prince George and Princess Charlotte, pictured last year, will have to wait until after going to church and going for a walk to open their presents
Carole, pictured with her husband Michael earlier this year, will be serving up a traditional meal along with a vegan option, having recently turned to a plant-based diet herself
‘If I go to someone’s house for dinner, I’m not going to make a fuss. For Christmas, I’d probably have two options – very traditional and something vegan.’
The family will enjoy plenty of mince pies, mulled wine and mistletoe – Carole’s Christmas essentials – and then open more presents in the evening.
Speaking about her Christmas planning, Carole added: ‘Don’t get hung up on perfection. Often it’s the mistakes that make things memorable.’
While most of the Queen’s children and grandchildren and their families go to Sandringham, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expected to go to the Middletons this year instead.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge spent last Christmas hosting Meghan and Harry near the Queen’s Sandringham Estate (pictured: The couples at church on Christmas morning), but it’s rumoured that Kate and William will head to Berkshire this year
The Duchess of Cambridge, pictured with Meghan at Princess Eugenie’s wedding, was reportedly left in tears by Meghan’s demands during a bridesmaids dress fitting for Princess Charlotte
In a recent interview on German TV, Kate’s brother James hinted that he’s expecting a full house this year, saying: ‘For me it’s all about family. It’s one where we can all regroup.’
In 2016, William and Kate broke with tradition by spending the festive season with the Middletons rather than joining the Queen in Norfolk.
At the time experts said the decision was made to put the needs of George and Charlotte, who were then three and 18 months, first and give them a more relaxed experience rather than the formality of Sandringham.
Kate and Pippa’s younger brother James opened up about looking forward to champagne and turkey with the family in an interview with German TV channel Leute Heute last month
Another reason for the Cambridge’s to avoid the royal festivities is a rumoured frostiness with Prince Harry and his pregnant wife Meghan.
The couple spent Christmas with William and Kate at Anmer Hall – William and Kate’s country home near Sandringham – last year, but sources claim there was a ‘ghastly’ row between the couples.
A royal aide said that ‘Kate had a quiet word with Meghan’ for being rude to a member of staff, which ‘escalated rapidly after Meghan complained to Harry that she had been “told off”.’
‘He took her side, while William defended Kate, who was five months pregnant with Louis and certainly didn’t want this sort of confrontation.’
‘My biggest fear was losing them’: Carole Middleton reveals she’s always put her family first to ensure the clan remains tight-knit – including her ‘lovely’ son-in-law Prince William
In her interview with The Telegraph, Kate’s mother spoke of her delight that her family has remained close over the years and described son-in-law William as ‘lovely’ in a rare interview.
Carole Middleton, whose grandson Prince George is the future king, described herself as ‘normal’ and a ‘hands-on’ mother and grandmother, and said family comes first in her life.
The 63-year-old, who is celebrating 30 years of success with her Party Pieces family business, said her family is ‘paramount’, adding: ‘They come first and that will always be the case, even when I have more me time.’
She added: ‘My biggest fear (as her offspring grew up) was that I’d lose my family, but we’ve stayed close. ‘
Referring to William and her daughter Pippa’s husband James Matthews, a hedge fund manager, she said: ‘I have two lovely sons-in-law and I hope I’ll have a lovely daughter-in-law.’
Carole Middleton, 63, has admitted that she feared her family would grow apart as her children got older, but is delighted that they’re still so close. Pictured: With her husband Michael, daughter Pippa and son-in-law James at Prince Louis’ christening at St James’s Palace in July
Prince George and Princess Charlotte are likely to be spending Christmas at their grandmother’s home in Berkshire this year, rather than at Sandringham with the Queen
Mrs Middleton also recalled Kate and William’s wedding at Westminster Abbey in 2011 when she and her family had the eyes of the world on them for the televised event.
She said: ‘Like every mother, I wanted to look my best, make my children proud and enjoy the day.
‘I honestly don’t think I was any more stressed than any other mother-of-the-bride.’
Mrs Middleton, mother to Kate, Pippa and James, and grandmother to George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis and Pippa and James Matthews’ new baby Arthur, said she believes structure and discipline are important for children early on in life.
Carole insisted that she wasn’t more nervous than any other mother-of-the-bride would be when her daughter married Prince William at Westminster Abbey in April 2011
Giving an insight into her parenting, and perhaps grand-parenting, she told the magazine that children need routine, saying: ‘You can’t suddenly start teaching them about politeness at 13. You have to do it from the start.’
Giving a glimpse into what a Middleton family Christmas looks like, she described visiting church on Christmas Day, followed by a walk, then smoked salmon and champagne for lunch before the main meal in the evening.
However, acknowledging the needs of the little ones in her growing family, she added: ‘With young grandchildren, maybe we’ll move that forward and have it at lunchtime.’
Pippa Middleton and her husband James Matthews, pictured at Princess Eugenie’s wedding in October, welcomed their son Arthur just a few days later and he will be celebrating his first Christmas with the Middletons in Berkshire