Lifestyle / Society

How the Scandinavian royal families celebrate Christmas

By Anna Clarke
mette marit norwegian royal family

Photo: @detnorskekongehus

Next-level merriment is pretty much royally decreed…

Every family has its own Christmas quirks, whether that means a festive table of duck, rather than turkey, or permission to rip into presents comes post, not pre-dinner. Yes, we all have our annual conventions and for many of us there’s a certain way of celebrating when December rolls around – the Scandinavian royals are no different. And although, admittedly, the Nordic monarchies are a far cry from Queen Elizabeth’s reported festive ‘weigh-ins’, they still boast their own unique yuletide customs to be adhered to. Just see for yourselves…



The festive season kicks off rather prematurely in Denmark’s royal household when on the 1st December, Queen Margrethe releases her little home-crafted litter of Christmas elves, known as nisse, into the grounds of Copenhagen’s Amalienborg Palace. For six years, these handmade helpers have formed the backdrop of the royal Christmas advent calendar, and this year is no different, with the mischievous sprites telling the fascinating story of 1000 years of Danish monarchic rule in a daily yarn.