How Kate Middleton, Prince William & the royal family spend New Year’s Eve… and why 2021 will be a little different

THE royals have many traditions over the Christmas period, but how does the family celebrate New Year’s Eve?

This year will feel very different for the Queen as it is the first since the death of her husband Prince Philip – and her plans have also been affected by the pandemic.

Typically the royal family spends the festive season in the countryside away from the city. 

The official royal website says: “The Royal Family traditionally spends Christmas and New Year at Sandringham House. The Queen's country estate in Norfolk.”

The Queen usually stays in Sandringham until February 6 each year, which is the date of the death of her father King George VI in 1952. 

However, last year the Queen and Philip cancelled their usual plans due to the pandemic and spent the festive season in Windsor instead.

This year has also been affected by restrictions and she has been at Windsor for a second year running, although this time without Prince Philip, who died aged 99 on April 9, 2021.

During her usual New Year celebrations, the Queen, who wakes up at 8.30am each morning, typically stays up until midnight to ring in the New Year.

The royal family spend quality time together playing games such as charades and the Queen will also participate in an annual lucky dip predicting the year ahead for the royals.

A source previously said to The Express: “The predictions are written up by the household but approved by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.

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“Each member of the family picks out an envelope and reads out their ­prediction to the rest of the room.

“They’re meant to be funny but like all the family’s humour there’s an element of score-settling and getting even to them. 

“They’re usually taken in good humour but some people can get quite huffy if they feel they’re being got at.”

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Reports have suggested that no one typically leaves the room to go to bed before the monarch, out of courtesy.

Sir William Heseltine, the Queen’s former private secretary, said: “Nobody felt it right to go to bed before the Queen did.”

Traditionally the Queen will invite family members to celebrate New Year with her, including those who were not able to join her for Christmas. 

The Queen attends St Mary Magdalene Church on New Year’s Day, just as she does on Christmas Day, and the family also like to go horse riding or pheasant shooting. 

Kate Middleton and Prince William typically take their kids to spend New Year’s Eve with the Middleton family, who live in Berkshire.

In the past, Carole and Michael Middleton have thrown a party with over 100 guests in their garden.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have spent the last two Christmas seasons across the pond.

It is not known how the Sussexes and Cambridges will be spending the New Year break this year.

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