The royal kids will be eating at a separate table for Christmas.
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Why George, Charlotte, & Louis Won't Be Eating Christmas Dinner With Their Parents

They have to wait until they master polite conversation.

When the royal family gathers for Christmas dinner at Sandringham this year, there’s a strong possibility that there will be three very important people missing from the table: Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis. The three royals, while being so important to the family as second, third, and fourth in line to the throne, are not actually allowed to eat Christmas dinner with the grown-ups.

Prince William and Kate Middleton have chosen to continue a longstanding royal Christmas tradition, where their children do not eat with the royal adults for the holiday dinner, according to former royal chef Darren McGrady. McGrady, who cooked for the family for 15 years when Prince William and Prince Harry were children themselves, told The Mirror that it is a tradition in the family that children are not welcome to eat at the holiday table with the adults until they have mastered “polite conversation.” To be fair to the royal kids, their mom certainly is a pro when it comes to ensuring they’re polite. She even has a secret message — that’d be “let’s take a break,” according to Hello! — to encourage them to behave, so it’s unlikely that their absence from the Christmas table is about their behavior.

Instead of eating with their parents, 10-year-old Prince George, 8-year-old Princess Charlotte, and 5-year-old Prince Louis eat their dinner with their longtime royal nanny, Maria Barralo, to supervise. And she’s reportedly there to help educate their palates. “The royal nursery wasn’t just for educating the minds of the young royals but educating their palates, too,” McGrady told The Mirror. “Nanny always had control of the menu and made sure they ate balanced meals that included not only lots of healthy vegetables but introduced them to new grown-up dishes too.”

The royal kids eat separately for Christmas dinner.Mark Cuthbert/UK Press/Getty Images

The royal kids have certainly been paying attention when it comes to tasting grown-up dishes. Sure, Middleton is not above making pizza with her kids on a weekend, but they also have pretty refined palates. Little Prince Louis is a fan of the mighty beetroot, while Prince William once said that Prince George loves a spaghetti carbonara above all foods.

Kate Middleton might not be having her kids at the Christmas dinner table with her, but she’ll most likely bring them to another special holiday event. Her second annual Christmas carol sing. So they’ve got that to look forward to.