Cape Town - It’s the most wonderful time of the year – but the festive season can also be quite an expensive period for most of us.
According to a former aide to the British royal family, Queen Elizabeth spends a whopping $58 000 (about R834 460) on the 620 gifts she buys for her staff and family.
About two weeks before Christmas, the Deputy Master of the Household instructs staff to go to one of the rooms at Buckingham Palace, news.com.au reports.
"Here, they line up to receive a wrapped gift from the Queen, and she says a few words to each of them," the former aide reveals.
"It’s usually something like, 'Thank you so much for all your help during the year.' This is followed by, 'Happy Christmas'."
The aide also says that in the past, the 93-year-old monarch used to enjoy a personal shopping session at Buckingham Palace before Christmas, but now the gifts are all chosen online by her private secretary’s office, according to Daily Mail.
The queen’s Christmas gifts to staff usually consist of a small item from the palace gift shop or a book token, as well as a small Christmas pudding, HELLO! Magazine reports.
Each pudding is accompanied by a Christmas card signed by the queen and her husband, Prince Philip.
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