The Queen's former butler reveals the unique way she does her family's Christmas shopping

17 December 2021, 10:50 | Updated: 17 December 2021, 11:03

The Queen reportedly has a special way of buying presents
The Queen reportedly has a special way of buying presents. Picture: Getty
Polly Foreman

By Polly Foreman

The Queen is said to have a special way of buying Christmas presents for her family.

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With eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren, we're guessing The Queen is kept pretty busy buying presents at this time of year.

Unlike us, though, you won't catch The Queen picking up some last minute bits in big Tesco on Christmas Eve - as she reportedly has a special way of buying Christmas gifts.

According to her former butler Paul Burrell, she has a unique approach to shopping.

He told Closer magazine: "Firstly, she has catalogues sent to her, and then the Oxford Street branch of John Lewis sends her a selection of almost everything they stock.

The Queen has a number of family members to buy gifts for
The Queen has a number of family members to buy gifts for. Picture: Alamy

"There is a little ‘shop’ set up in the drawing room at Windsor Castle and the Queen can pop in and choose gifts at her leisure. Late at night, after dinner, usually around 10pm, she’ll pop into her little Christmas shop and do some shopping.

"The Queen always chooses practical gifts that can be used – never ornaments or decorative things. So she might pick some picnic plates, a tablecloth, or a couple of hand towels. Then they are wrapped up and a truckload of presents are ready to go to Sandringham."

The Queen and Attenborough discuss conkers

This year, Christmas will look a little different for the Queen, as it was confirmed earlier this week that her annual family lunch, which was due to take place next Tuesday, had been cancelled due to rising coronavirus cases.

A senior palace source told the Mirror: "The pre-Christmas family lunch will not be going ahead.

"The decision is a precautionary one as it is felt to put too many people’s Christmas arrangements at risk if it went ahead.

"While there is regret that it is cancelled, there is a belief it is the right thing to do for all concerned."