See Photos of the Last Time the Royals Had Christmas at Windsor Castle — 33 Years Ago

Stephanie Petit
·2 min read

Jayne Fincher/Princess Diana Archive/Getty Sarah Ferguson, Princess Diana, Prince Andrew and Prince William

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip are breaking their tradition of spending Christmas at Sandringham amid the coronavirus pandemic — but this isn't the first time they've celebrated the holiday at Windsor Castle.

Although the royal family has been ringing in Christmas at the Queen's Sandringham estate in Norfolk, about 100 miles north of London, for over three decades, it wasn't unusual for holiday festivities to take place at Windsor Castle in the 1980s. The last time the family gathered at Windsor Castle for Christmas was in 1987.

After attending church at St. George's Chapel — where Meghan Markle and Prince Harry as well as Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank tied the knot in 2018 — the royals were photographed as they made their way back into the castle for more holiday fun.

The year marked Prince William's Christmas debut with the royal family. He wore a powder blue coat for the occasion and smiled as he waved to photographers.

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Julian Parker/UK Press via Getty Prince William

Princess Diana Archive/Getty Prince William

Princess Diana sported a yellow jacket with a matching hat for the holiday outing and held hands with Lady Rose Windsor as they walked on the castle grounds.

Sarah Ferguson — or Fergie, as the Duchess of York is called — wore a festive red ensemble with a fluffy white hat.

Terry Fincher/Princess Diana Archive/Getty Princess Diana

While Queen Elizabeth wore a green coat and matching hat for the occasion, her sister Princess Margaret bundled up in a fur jacket.

Julian Parker/UK Press via Getty Queen Elizabeth

Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Princess Margaret

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Queen Elizabeth, 94, called off her regular trip to Sandringham for Christmas earlier this month. Instead, she and husband Prince Philip, 99, are staying at Windsor Castle, where they have spent much of their time in quarantine since March.

"Having considered all the appropriate advice, The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh have decided that this year they will spend Christmas quietly in Windsor," a Buckingham Palace spokesperson said.

Pool/Anwar Hussein Collection/WireImage

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A royal source tells PEOPLE, "They are fortunate to spend Christmas with their family every year, but they understand that their family will have competing demands over the Christmas period and are content to have a quiet festive season this year."

"Like everyone, their hope is that normality will return in 2021," the source adds. The Queen and Philip may still see some members of their family, "but they understand that they have competing demands."