Christmas puddings mixed by Royal Family given out to armed forces
Written by on 22 December 2020
Christmas puddings mixed by four generations of the Royal Family have been dished out to members of the armed forces as part of a Royal British Legion project to spread festive cheer.
The Queen, Prince of Wales, Duke of Cambridge and Prince George each wielded a wooden spoon in aid of the RBL’s Together At Christmas initiative a few days before 25 December last year.
The royals stirred four large puddings bowls, which traditionally brings good luck, and added four commemorative sixpences to be found by lucky recipients as they made the puddings at Buckingham Palace.
The festive treats have now been given to armed forces communities at home and abroad.
The serving military, volunteers and people supported by the RBL took part in virtual gatherings to bring people together at at time when issues like loneliness and money concerns come to the fore.
RBL director-general Charles Byrne said: “Christmas can be a time when people’s financial worries or feelings of loneliness, isolation or anxiety are heightened, this year more than ever as people continue to adapt to life during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We want all those within our community who may be feeling the pressures of the season to know that there is extra support available and the Legion is here for them.
“Bringing people together, combating loneliness and helping individuals and families feel connected is an important part of our work all year round.”
The RBL’s first Together At Christmas events were due to be hosted at high street locations, care homes and Legion branches but the pandemic meant the gatherings had to be moved online.
The RBL has sent 99 puddings to families in the UK, others in Spain and Fiji, and to service personnel deployed in Bahrain this Christmas.
Veteran Poppy Appeal volunteer Vera Parnaby, 81, from Consett, County Durham, who has raised more than GBP1m, received a special Christmas pudding.
Julian Groves, 59, who served with the Royal Army Medical Corps for 11 years, joined one of the get-togethers and discovered a sixpence in his pudding.
During the pandemic he has been receiving regular calls from the Legion’s Telephone Buddy service to help with his social isolation.
He said: “It’s incredibly special to be part of Together At Christmas and I was amazed to discover the sixpence.
“I’ve never done anything like this before but the sense of comradeship it created made it feel like being back in the forces.
“No matter how tough things are, the Legion always rallies round, making sure everyone is looked after.”