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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Jennifer Newton

You've been 'cheers-ing' wrong and royals do it differently, claims King's former butler

The past 12 months have been a rollercoaster for the royal family - and Christmas will likely be a time for them to relax and reflect.

King Charles is set to host many members of his family at Sandringham for their annual festive celebrations - and there will no doubt be plenty of good food and drink for them to enjoy.

And when they look back on the past year, it could be that they propose a toast or raise a glass when thinking about the late Queen.

However, when they drink a toast, there is one common thing that they avoid doing, according to a former royal butler who once worked for Charles.

Prince William and Kate make a toast in honour of the Queen (AFP/Getty Images)

Grant Harrold, who worked at Highgrove for the King and Queen Consort Camilla for seven years revealed they hardly ever clink glasses.

He told the Mirror: "I've been at parties with them as a guest and they do raise their glasses and say cheers.

"They might not clink glasses but they will give you eye contact."

Several of the parties that Grant had a chance to join the royals at were bashes thrown for their staff at Christmas.

And he recalled several memorable times with Prince William - and even the late Queen and Prince Philip.

He explained: "At Christmas, we were quite lucky because there would be different staff parties, events and services, which I kind of got involved in and went to.

King Charles will be hosting the royal family at Sandringham (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

"I remember the first Christmas party I went to about 18 years ago, it was a sit-down lunch and I sat down at a table with Prince William and I remember thinking, this is a different type of Christmas lunch.

"It was brilliant fun, him sitting there and the King or the Prince of Wales as he was then behind me and Prince Harry was at the table to the other side of William, so it was great fun.

"When we used to go to the party in London, we used to be given these big red boxes with the Queen's crest on them and inside would be a Christmas pudding from the Queen and Prince Philip.

The royals attending church in Sandringham on Christmas Day 2019 (PA)

"I think I've still got them, we haven't eaten them."

The royal gathering at Sandringham will be the first time the royal family has spent Christmas at the private royal residence since 2019, and it will be a poignant period following the death of the Queen in September.

Buckingham Palace said in a brief statement: “Their Majesties The King and The Queen Consort accompanied by Members of the Royal Family will attend the Morning Service on Christmas Day at Sandringham Church, on Sunday 25th December 2022.”

It is likely Charles and Camilla will be joined by the Prince and Princess of Wales and their children, Princess Royal and her family, the Earl and Countess of Wessex and their children – but it remains to be seen if the disgraced Duke of York will make a public appearance.

Christmas at Sandringham follows a break, when, due to the Covid pandemic, the late Queen spent the festive period at Windsor Castle two years in a row – the first with the Duke of Edinburgh, separated from her wider family in lockdown.

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