Finding the perfect Christmas gifts is difficult enough, but what do you buy when every single person in the family is the type that already has everything?
That’s the dilemma faced when spending Christmas with the royals, but Kate and Camilla have solved the problem by eschewing the shops of London for the more unique outlets of Holt in Norfolk, close to the Queen‘s Sandringham estate.
The town boasts a mixture of vintage stores, jewellers and interior design and Kate, who is very keen to also support young and upcoming British designers, loves buying her Christmas presents here.
One of her favourites is House & Garden Shop on Holt high street, where the Duchess can pick up pieces by local designer Mimi Emmett, whose range of stunning homeware inspired by the Norfolk coastline, including pheasant-print cushions, Kate adores.
Camilla also picked up gardening gloves for green-fingered Charles at the same shop, and is often seen in the sophisticated deli Bakers & Larners where she buys her husband his favourite sloe gin and red wine.
One of the big attractions of Holt for Camilla is the fact she can pop in and out of the local shops virtually unnoticed, and if the folk of Norfolk do recognise her they give her a friendly hello and wave. It’s all very relaxed which she loves.
The House & Garden Shop in Holt, Norfolk is a favourite with Kate and Camilla who have been known to pop in for Christmas presents
The Duchess of Cambridge is a fan of Norfolk designer Mimi Emmett whose designs are stocked by The House & Garden Shop
And she’s in good company as star Eddie Redmayne was even spotted doing a spot of shopping in Holt when he filmed Glorious 1939 in Norfolk.
Of course, both Duchesses will have an extra present to add to the list this year, with Harry’s fiancée Meghan Markle joining the royals at Sandringham for Christmas for the first time.
In addition to bonding with the family, the bride-to-be will be able to enjoy the many diversions the Norfolk coastline has to offer.
In previous years, Kate and William have been spotted walking on Holkham Beach so Meghan may well join them this year for a bracing walk pre-Christmas lunch.
Camilla is known to casually drop by the upmarket deli Baker & Larners to pick up Prince Charles favourite sloe gin and red wine
Camilla reportedly bought Charles some gardening gloves from The House & Garden Shop in Holt
Kate is reportedly a big fan of pieces by local designer Mimi Emmett, whose designs are stocked at The House & Garden shop in Holt
The locals are always delighted to see them, but would not dream of approaching them so they can enjoy the festive season in peace.
Another favourite haunt is The Hoste at the popular Burnham Market, where again the royals can relax without being bothered.
Its down to earth manner endears them all, as well as an most extensive wine cellar and fresh local fish.
A fine dining menu offers dishes such as Great Ryburgh pork, wild sea bass and terrine of Norfolk guinea fowl and duck liver, while a more relaxed brasserie menu provides staples such as burgers and roasted chicken breast.
The royals eschew the shops of London for the more unique offerings available at local retailers in Norfolk
The Hoste at the popular Burnham Market is a popular dining spot with the royals, serving local specialties such as terrine of Norfolk guinea fowl and duck liver
The couple also have the option of joining William and Kate for outdoor pursuits such as kite surfing, shooting and sailing at Blakeney.
An opportunity to get out in the fresh air will provide a welcome change from the formality of the celebrations at Sandringham.
Daily visits to church and several changes of dress a day – will be the norm during the Christmas celebrations.
Everything from their arrival time to when they eat breakfast, walk the dogs, sit down to lunch and retire to bed is strictly timetabled. Even lunch on Christmas Day is pencilled in for just 50 minutes.
Camilla has been spotted picking up a tipple such as sloe gin for Charles from upmarket Bakers & Larners in Holt
Holkham Beach in Norfok where Kate and William are known to enjoy bracing walks by the coast
The Queen and Prince Philip are already in residence when the first junior Royals arrive before 9am on Christmas Eve, many driving themselves through Sandringham’s imposing gates. More senior members follow shortly afterwards.
Over the next three days, Harry and Meghan will experience a deeply traditional Christmas, but one that the Royals have uniquely personalised, including ‘cheap and cheerful’ gifts given on Christmas Eve and a liking for charades at which the Queen – a superb mimic – always shines.
Prince Philip typically leads the family on the 330-yard walk to the 16th Century church of St Mary Magdalene on Christmas morning. The Queen, however, is driven. The service is always about 45 minutes, the Queen having received Communion privately in the morning.
Meghan’s milestones: The former Suits star attended the Queen’s Christmas lunch for the first time this week, and is also joining the family at Sandringham
In a break with tradition, Meghan has been invited to Sandringham for Christmas while other royal brides had to wait until they were married before attending
The Royals enjoy bespoke Christmas crackers made by Dorset company Celebration Crackers. Everyone wears paper hats except the Queen. Party games are popular, as are cards.
For lunch on Christmas Eve, the men wear suits and the women wear smart silk dresses, but they change into black tie and glamorous gowns for dinner. It’s the one time the women wear their most expensive jewellery and almost all wear tiaras.
On Christmas Day, they come down for breakfast dressed in their church outfits – usually a day dress or a smart suit with pearls for the women. For the traditional walk to church, the men don warm overcoats.