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The Habsburgs of Austria, known for their rich Christmas traditions, have a peculiar custom that has intrigued many over the years. Featured in films like “Spencer,” this unique tradition involves royal family members participating in a pre-dinner weigh-in before their lavish Christmas feast. While it may seem unconventional to modern sensibilities, historical accounts indicate that this practice has been a longstanding tradition within the royal household.

According to reports, the origins of this tradition can be traced back to the early 1900s, during the reign of King Edward VII. It is said that the king would request his guests to weigh themselves before and after partaking in a royal dinner. The guests’ weight gain determined the meal’s perceived enjoyment, with those who indulged sufficiently expected to put on around three pounds.

This tradition, although peculiar by contemporary standards, reflects the emphasis placed on hospitality and generosity within royal circles. The act of weighing guests before and after dinner served as a playful yet symbolic gesture to ensure that everyone had fully embraced the festive spirit and indulged in the decadent offerings of the Christmas feast.

While the practice may seem outdated today, it provides a fascinating glimpse into the customs and rituals of aristocratic households from a bygone era. It serves as a reminder of the unique traditions and eccentricities that have characterized royal life throughout history.

Apart from the weighing custom, the royal family enjoys a Christmas Eve gift exchange, honoring their German heritage. As the family gathers on December 24th, anticipation fills the air as they prepare for the gift exchange. The red drawing room, adorned with holiday decorations, sets the perfect backdrop for the occasion. It’s a moment of warmth and togetherness as generations come together to share the joy of giving and receiving.

The tradition is lively, with each member eagerly awaiting their turn to unwrap presents. The room is excited as gifts are exchanged, laughter fills the air, and smiles adorn everyone’s faces. It’s a time-honored ritual that strengthens family bonds and creates lasting memories. Prince Harry, in his memoir, offers a glimpse into the charming chaos of the gift-opening session. His vivid descriptions paint a picture of the joy and camaraderie that permeate the room during this cherished tradition. Everyone joins in the festivities, From the youngest to the family to the eldest, making it a truly magical experience for all involved.

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