The Royal British Legion has gifted 99 Christmas puddings, mixed by The Queen and her three heirs last year, to members of the Armed Forces community as part of its ‘Together at Christmas’ initiative.
The mixing of the traditional puddings took place at Buckingham Palace in 2019, when The Queen – the RBL’s Patron – joined The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge and Prince George to stir the puddings together, which traditionally brings good luck.
The special puddings formed the centrepiece of a series of virtual festive gatherings attended by people who have received support from the charity, serving members of the Armed Forces, volunteers, and members from across the Legion’s network.
The mixing session at Buckingham Palace in December 2019 was attended by four veterans, Colin Hughes, Liam Young, Lisa Evans and Barbara Hurman, who also took part in the virtual get togethers this year.
Those taking part in the get togethers via video call each received one of the special Christmas puddings mixed by the Royals.
Commemorative sixpences were also placed into the mixture. These have been found by four lucky recipients who attended this year’s gatherings.
A Royal British Legion new recipe was created for the launch, with the Royal Family uniquely adding poppy seeds to the mixture, in a nod to the charity’s iconic symbol of Remembrance.
As well as being delivered to members of the Armed Forces community within the UK, the Legion has sent puddings to individuals and families in Spain, Fiji and to service personnel deployed in Bahrain this Christmas.
From the four-year old son of a Lance Bombardier who will be away from his family this Christmas, to a 100-year-old Second World War veteran the puddings have been shared with all generations of our Armed Forces community.
The Legion’s first ‘Together at Christmas’ events were due to be hosted at high street locations, care homes and Legion branches, however, the Covid-19 pandemic meant that physical get togethers were no longer possible and the charity decided to host virtual ‘get togethers’ instead. 99 puddings were distributed to mark the charity’s 99th year ahead of its Centenary in 2021.
Year round the Legion helps those struggling with loneliness and isolation in a number of ways ranging from community projects such as its Telephone Buddy scheme, its quarter of a million strong membership and its 24-hour support line.