For December, we selected Regina Jeffers’ Christmas at Pemberley: A Pride and Prejudice Holiday Sequel– another way for us to spread the Christmas spirit. The book was a sequel to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, allowing Elizabeth and Darcy’s fans to keep the story alive.
Pride and Prejudice is one of the greatest novels – well – ever. Perhaps I am biased, but their love story is one that can outlasts centuries, feeling relevant to us two centuries later. Christmas at Pemberley picks up after Pride and Prejudice has finished. It’s a great Christmas books – the countryside, the history, the season, and even a Christmas miracle!
For me, the romantic parts of the book were a bit much. I’m not a fan of “sexual tensions” in my literature, and overly lovey-dovey-ness gives me the heebie-jeebies (no one ever calls me a romantic). But I did enjoy the humor, wit and excitement that Jeffers adds to the book.
Overall, it was a fun Christmas read – light, warmhearted and festive!
Now, the fun stuff. We selected this book because we L-O-V-E the Christmas spirit. It really is the most wonderful time of the year. And there seems to be no better place to spend the holidays than in the English countryside. Remember when Amanda goes to Surrey in The Holiday? Yeah, imagine that – only better. (Although, I don’t know how you get much better than Jude Law)
On that note, everyone should go and watch The Holiday.
But since we love all things royally inspired, we wish every year to be on the guest list at Sandringham.
Traditionally, the royals spend the holiday season (from mid-December to February) at the Norfolk estate of Sandringham House. The vast abode is the official location for the Christmas holiday and calls for quite a bit of protocol. Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, confessed her nervousness about changing outfits five times on Christmas eve. Sarah, the Duchess of York even complained that the trip required seven outfits for two days! (Probably not including pyjamas!)
So, what’s with all those clothes? And, why are we deprived of such fabulous fashions? Well…
Guests arrive in order of seniority (basically, the most important person arrives last) with the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh acting as hosts. (outfit 1) Once everyone arrives and settles into their rooms, they attend a 4PM tea service. (outfit 2) Guests are expected to be properly dressed for tea and enjoy home-baked scones and milky Earl Grey.
After tea, royals exchange gifts. Why on Christmas Eve instead of Christmas Day? Well, the Queen considers the 25th to be a VERY religious event. Therefore, gifts are exchanged on the 24th. What do you buy the Queen? Well, apparently a bathing cap – Prince Harry once gifted one to his granny which said “Ain’t Life a Bitch!” Gag gifts are the go-to for this event. Kate seemed to have a knack for this – her first year at Sandringham, she gave Harry a “Grow Your Own Boyfriend.” Once all the wrapping is torn, drinks are served.
In the evening, the Royals change again for a formal dinner. (outfit 3) Evening dress is expected, including gowns, jewels, and black tie. Dinner is served promptly at 8:15. Afterwards, women enjoy coffee in one room while men enjoy liquor and cigars in another. Around midnight, the Queen retires – and everyone may retire after her.
Christmas day is spent eating breakfast (outfit 4), then church (outfit 5) followed by lunch (outfit 6) and watching the Queen’s annual Christmas speech. Then, royals may enjoy the afternoon at their leisure (outfit 7), often walking the grounds, playing charades or watching the telly.
And that doesn’t even include Boxing Day!
Now that the Christmas season has passed – the royals enjoyed their Christmas, and we certainly enjoyed ours! – it is time to meet our New Year. Here she is, in all her glory – 2013.This was the year we weren’t supposed to see. We survived the apocalypse and have made it to lucky number 13.
Have you already failed at your New Year’s Resolution? Fear not – we probably have too. This year, we want to set reasonable goals and accomplish great things.
For January’s Regal Reads, we discussed half a dozen books. After reading reviews, discussing possibilities, and asking for suggestions, WWKD has chosen Andrea Linnett’s I Want to Be Her!: How Friends & Strangers Helped Shape My Style.
We’ve all been there. In the mall, where that girl can wear a beret hat and actually look stylish. Or the woman who can drink her coffee black and piping hot. Or the neighbor who always has the perfect garden. Sometimes, we just want to be her. Often times, we just want to be Kate.
So we hope to explore Andrea’s encounters with people she wanted to be, and we hope to become more like the people we admire – healthier, prettier, happier, smarter.
Read with us!
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