By helicopter.

But first...

How was 2012, Your Majesty? Mostly good, if not great, right? With the exception of that ginger grandson taking off his clothes in Vegas, this was a very strong year for the Queen, and a wonderful follow-up to 2011 when Prince William married his Catherine as a prelude to her Diamond Jubilee. Then she jumped out of an airplane with Bond to open the Olympic Games. And now Kate is (delicately) carrying Baby Wales. There’s a lot to celebrate. Time to party, your Grace! 

Yesterday the Queen attended a cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street. Today for the first time in a few years, she’s hosting the royal household Christmas at Buckingham Palace. The event has been put off for a while because of the economy so this will actually be Kate’s first time. She arrived by helicopter. I’ll post more photos as they become available.

As for Christmas proper and the Sandringham tradition -- there was some word that given her condition Kate would stay home at Bucklebury with the Middletons. US Weekly however reports in this week’s issue that the Queen is considering inviting the Middletons to Sandringham for Christmas so that they can be close to their daughter -- an unprecedented move if true, and another very strong indication of her fondness for her granddaughter-in-law.

PS. Hilariously US Weekly’s source specifies that the “Middletons” means Carole and Michael, only.