Mike Tindall reveals the royal children ate in a different room at the Queen’s pre-Christmas lunch at Buckingham Palace – while he dined on a table with Prince Charles
- Former England rugby ace reveals which table he sat on at royal Christmas lunch
- Revealed their were around 70 people at family event and he didn’t drink alcohol
- There are seven tables and the ‘kiddies’ have their own table in a different room
- Described the event as ‘lovely, really good’ and said he sat with Prince Charles
Mike Tindall has shared some rare insights into the Queen’s pre-Christmas lunch – revealing that the royal children, including Prince George and Princess Charlotte, are given their own table in a separate room.
The former England rugby player, 41, from Otley, who is married to the monarch’s granddaughter Zara Phillips, 38, made the revelations on JOE UK’s House of Rugby podcast.
He told how he sat with his uncle-in-law Prince Charles, 71, at Buckingham Palace and described the annual event as ‘lovely’.
‘This is the other one, the family lunch, there must be about 70 of us there – there are seven tables and then the kiddies have their own little one in a different room,’ he said while being quizzed by fellow ex-rugby star James Haskell and host Alex Payne.
Mike Tindall has shared some rare insights into the Queen’s pre-Christmas lunch – revealing that the royal children are given their own table in a separate room. Pictured driving home from the lunch with Zara and their children at Buckingham Palace last week
‘I was on Prince Charles’ table. It was lovely, really good.’
Asked if there was ‘good wine’, Mike – who was pictured arriving and departing in his family Range Rover with Zara and their two children, Mia and Lena, as well as a member of staff, said he didn’t drink.
The lads then asked if the Prince of Wales supplied any of his Duchy of Cornwall produce at the lunch, to which Mike replied: ‘I always think it would be a great sponsorship for Zara, but it’s not coming off.’
Mike said they don’t do Secret Santa on that occasion – hinting that it is a tradition the Royal Family indulge in at some point over the holiday period.
Mike told how the children – including Prince George and Princess Charlotte (pictured on Christmas Day) – have their own table in a separate room
The royals do usually open Christmas gifts on the 24th, once the family has gathered in Sandringham – the Queen’s Norfolk estate.
In the Germanic tradition dating back to Prince Albert, the Royal Family’s presents are exchanged at teatime and laid out on trestle tables. At 6pm sharp the gifts are opened.
There is reportedly a ‘cheap and cheerful’ rule, with classic joke gifts including a white leather toilet seat given to Prince Charles from his sister Princess Anne; a ‘grow your own girlfriend’ kit that Kate bought a bachelor Prince Harry before he met Meghan and, reputedly, a shower cap for the Queen adorned with the words ‘Ain’t life a b****?’ from a mischievous Harry.
Mike, who married Zara in 2011, also shared memories about the first Christmas he can remember.
Mike, who married Zara (pictured together at the 13th annual Emeralds & Ivy Ball in partnership with Cancer Research UK and The Marie Keating Foundation at Old Billingsgate) in 2011, also shared memories about the first Christmas he can remember
‘I really wanted a Sega Megadrive and my mum and dad had convinced me that I wasn’t getting one,’ he recalled. ‘So I literally spent most of it crying because I thought I wasn’t getting one.’
Last year Mike shared more insights into the Royal Family’s festive traditions while appearing on the House of Rugby podcast.
He said Christmas at the castle is ‘good’, adding: ‘Christmas Day is a little more quiet because it’s actually a cold buffet because they give everyone the day off, and their big day is Christmas Eve.’
Mike also revealed that they all sit around to watch the Queen’s speech together ‘with a little glass of something’.