Sometimes, employees got a “luxury” pudding from Harrods or the monarchical grocer Fortnum & Mason.
Royal Gift-Giving Tradition
Paul Burrell, Princess Diana’s former butler and a personal footman to Queen Elizabeth II, fondly reminisced about the Queen’s heartwarming Christmas tradition.
He recounted how the monarch used to generously gift presents to the extensive staff she employed, numbering over 1,000 individuals. Over the years, Her Majesty decided on a single gift for everyone, signifying her thoughtful gesture.
According to Burrell, the Queen chose a variety of mementos for her staff, all bearing her initials or personal insignia. Among these gifts were items like a dish, a pillbox, a lantern, or a tray, each reflecting a personal touch from the monarch.
The Christmas Pudding Tradition
Notably, one beloved and cherished gift among the staff was the Christmas pudding, with around 1,500 of these delightful treats distributed annually.
These puddings, funded by the Queen through the Privy Purse, were given to staff across the palaces, including those in the Court Post Office and Palace police. Each pudding came with a thoughtful greeting card.
Variety in Pudding Selection
At times, the Queen opted for a “luxury” version of the pudding, procuring it from renowned stores like Harrods or the esteemed royal grocer, Fortnum & Mason.
However, there were occasions when Her Majesty decided to offer a more affordable option, including a Tesco version that cost under $10.
This long-standing tradition reflects the Queen’s genuine appreciation for the dedication and hard work of her staff.
By personally selecting these gifts and spreading joy with Christmas puddings, Queen Elizabeth II ensured that the holiday spirit extended to all those working diligently behind the scenes in the royal residences.
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