How Queen Elizabeth II and the Royal Family are spending the Easter holidays

At Easter, members of the Royal Family gather at Windsor Castle to spend time together at the invitation of Queen Elizabeth II.

Like many families around the world, the royals have their own Easter traditions, which include church services and family reunions.

For the past two years, the Royal Family’s official public Easter celebrations have been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Since then the Queen, who turns 96 on April 21, has suffered a series of health problems and increased mobility issues. 2022 will also mark the second year that the monarch’s husband, Prince Philip, will not be there to join in the celebrations.

Although the structure of the Royal Family’s Easter calendar may change taking these factors into account, they are still expected to meet at Windsor Castle during the holidays.

Right here Newsweek takes a look at some of the Royal Family’s favorite Easter traditions:

Easter Courtship at Windsor Castle

Before the pandemic, the Queen’s schedule saw her travel across the country at set times of the year staying at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, Sandringham House in Norfolk, England and Balmoral Castle. in Scotland.

Every March/April, the Queen spent a month at Windsor Castle, the longest stay at the castle of the year. This would involve moving her staff and offices with her during the period known as “Easter Court”.

During this time, the Queen would carry out her official ceremonial duties such as official paperwork, meetings with the Prime Minister and investitures from the castle, instead of going back and forth to Buckingham Palace.

Since the outbreak of the pandemic in March 2020, the Queen has lived permanently at Windsor Castle and, according to reports, will retain it as her main base in the future. This means the Easter Tribunal no longer exists in its pre-pandemic form.

Queen Elizabeth II spent a month each Easter at Windsor Castle for what was known as ‘Easter Courtship’ before the pandemic saw her move to the castle permanently. Photographed on Easter Sunday, April 2017.
Peter Nicholls/WPA Pool/Getty Images

Queen’s Lenten Sacrifice

The Queen is known to have a passion for chocolate.

Speaking in the 2021 documentary My years with the queen, the monarch’s friend and relative, Lady Pamela Hicks, told her daughter India that she brings her own box of chocolates with her when she stays with friends. “She has her own box of chocolates which she has learned to keep in her room,” Hicks said of the Queen, “otherwise she says ‘the family is so greedy they eat them all’ before she cannot.”

In 2022, the Queen was pictured at Windsor Castle meeting Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau standing in front of a table laden with boxes of her favorite treats.

Queen Elizabeth Trudeau Chocolate
The Queen was photographed in front of a table containing five boxes of the monarch’s favorite chocolates during a meeting with Justin Trudeau on March 7, 2022.
Steve Parsons/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

It is perhaps because of his penchant for chocolate that the monarch gives it up each year in observance of the Christian sacrifice of Lent. Former royal leader Darren McGrady said OKAY in 2020: “Her Majesty loves chocolate, but especially dark chocolate. She gives it up for Lent and then looks forward to enjoying her favorite Bendicks Bittermints. Boxes of them are provided for everyone to munch on. “

A box of Bendicks chocolates can be seen in photographs of the Queen and Trudeau taken in the monarch’s private bedrooms in Windsor in March.

sacred service

Every Easter, a special church service is held in which the monarch distributes scholarships of symbolic importance to elderly men and women who have rendered a service to their church or community.

The service takes place on Maundy Thursday, which is a Christian holy day commemorating the Last Supper of Jesus Christ and his symbolic washing of the feet of his disciples.

Traditionally, on this day, British monarchs would distribute money to the poor, and in modern times it has evolved into a symbolic service of public recognition by the king or queen to their people.

Queen Elizabeth II Maundy Thursday 2018
The monarch traditionally distributes purses of token coins to senior members of the community who have distinguished themselves over the past year on Maundy Thursday. Photographed in Windsor, March 29, 2018.
Steve Parsons/WPA Pool/Getty Images

The Queen, until the pandemic, attended the Maundy Thursday service at a different cathedral each year in Britain, handing out coins according to the number of years she has lived.

In 2020, the Queen turned 95, meaning 95 men and 95 women received token gift scholarships of up to 95 pence.

Maundy silver coins are minted by the Royal Mint in sterling silver.

This month, Buckingham Palace announced that the Queen had asked Prince Charles to represent her at the Maundy Thursday service at St George’s Chapel for 2022. This follows the monarch’s reduced schedule of events and increased difficulty of its mobility. She only missed service four more times during her 70-year reign.

Queen’s first day off of the year

The Queen’s red boxes filled with official state documents follow her wherever she goes, but there are two days a year when she does not sit down to open them. These dates are Christmas Day and Easter Sunday.

Easter Sunday therefore marks the Queen’s first day off and she fills it with her family and attends a church service at Windsor Castle.

Official documents of Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth II takes just two days off from the official journals on Christmas Day and Easter Sunday. Photographed on board the royal train, May 2002.
Anwar Hussein/Getty Images

Easter Sunday service

Every year before the pandemic, the Queen attended the Easter Sunday church service at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. This service was also attended by various members of the Royal Family, who were then invited to lunch with the Queen back at the castle.

In 2019, Prince William and Kate Middleton attended the service alongside Prince Harry.

The service has become a favorite of royal watchers, who closely follow what members of the royal family are wearing and who they interact with on the way to the chapel.

Royal Easter Sunday 2019
Members of the Royal Family gather at Windsor Castle for an Easter Sunday church service at St George’s Chapel. Photographed April 21, 2019.
Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images

Easter eggs

Although there is no official Royal Family Easter Egg Hunt, every year the Royal Palaces hold events for the public that involve nature trails and digital hunts. In 2022, Kensington Palace, home of William and Kate and their three children George 8, Charlotte 6 and Louis 3, is hosting a chocolate bunny hunt on its grounds.

The Cambridge children are known to have inherited their great-grandmother’s penchant for chocolate. During a special Easter video call with school children posted on social media last year, William was asked if a lot of chocolate would be eaten at their house. The prince replied “we’re going to eat a lot of chocolate here, don’t worry”, to which Kate replied: “But you keep eating it!”

For more royal news and commentary, check out Newsweek’s The Royal Report podcast:

Comments are closed.