19/12/2011 09:52 GMT

Royal Christmas Plans Unveiled As 27 Crowd Invited To Sandringham For Jolly Festivities

The Queen will be presiding over the biggest royal family gathering in decades at Sandringham this year, according to the Daily Mail.

A record 27 royal guests are coming to stay in the Norfolk retreat for Christmas, the paper reported, forcing some to sleep in servants' quarters.

The guest overspill will be housed in the 'Bachelor Wing', which is usually home to single male members of staff.

After the resounding success of the Royal Wedding, spirits will be riding high this year as the family welcomes Kate Middleton to her first royal Christmas as the Duchess of Cambridge. Zara Phillips’s England rugby player husband Mike Tindall, will also be spending his first Christmas with the Queen since marrying into the family.

A member of staff grumbled to the Daily Mail that they would be "crammed in like sardines this year".

In the German tradition, presents will be opened on Christmas Eve before a candlelit banquet.

On Christmas morning the family attend the traditional service at St Mary Magdalene on their grounds. On Boxing Day, the Duke of Edinburgh traditionally organises a shoot.