Royals celebrate Christmas at Sandringham for first time since Queen’s death

The Royal Family arrived together at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk, this morning (Picture: Getty)

The King and his loved ones are celebrating their first Christmas without their beloved Queen.

They will meet in Sandringham, Norfolk, which has not seen the traditional festivities since 2019 due to Covid restrictions.

The royals attended a morning service together at St Mary Magdalene Church.

They were pictured arriving as a group, with King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla in front.

They were accompanied by the Prince and Princess of Wales and their children – Prince George, nine, Princess Charlotte, seven and Prince Louis, four, who walked hand-in-hand with Kate.

Also in the group of walkers, who passed a crowd of well-wishers on their way to church, was the disgraced Duke of York.

There had been speculation over whether Andrew, whose reputation had been left in tatters by a civil sex abuse case he settled out of court while denying wrongdoing, would make a public appearance , but he was seen entering the church with his relatives this morning.

Royals arriving on Christmas Day.

Prince William, Kate Middleton and their children joined the King at Sandringham (Photo: i-Images)

To view this video, please enable JavaScript and consider upgrading to a web browser that supports HTML5 video

The Earl and Countess of Wessex were also part of the group, but the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who live in California, were absent.

Charles recorded his first Christmas broadcast as a monarch, which is likely to reflect the loss of his mother and his legacy.

The festive message was recorded on December 13 at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.

Traditionally, members of the royal family sit down to watch the televised speech when it airs after lunch, usually at 3 p.m.

Sandringham House has been the private residence of four generations of British monarchs for over 160 years and is now owned by the King.

Royal super fan John Loughery awaits the arrival of members of the British Royal Family for their traditional Christmas Day service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk, eastern England, December 25, 2022 (Photo by Daniel LEAL/AFP) (Photo by DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images)

Royal fans gathered outside St Mary Magdalene Church to greet the family (Picture: Getty)

Members of the public wait with their dog for the arrival of members of the British Royal Family for their traditional Christmas Day service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk, eastern England, December 25 2022. (Photo by Daniel LEAL/AFP) (Photo by DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images)

The family usually greet well-wishers before heading to Sandringham for Christmas lunch (Picture: Getty)

However, although the royals are returning to Sandringham this year, royal expert Jennie Bond said OK! that without the Queen holding the family together, the younger royals may want to do their “own thing”.

She said: “Younger royals will probably want to spend time with their own families, so I think the two or three day celebrations of the past could indeed be a thing of the past.

“While I imagine there will be a gathering at Sandringham, I’m not sure it will be as extensive as before with the Queen and with as many people.”

She added: “Without the kingpin of the Queen holding together an often fractured family, they can suddenly decide to do their own thing.

“It will be the first time in all the turmoil following his death that the Royal Family will stop for a moment and, as a family, reflect and raise a glass to him.

Another change in Sandringham tradition is that this year Queen Consort Camilla is expected to invite her own children.

A source told The Sun: ‘Camilla is keen for her family to be at the heart of Christmas, especially as Charles won’t be having his youngest son there.’

The late Queen had spent the festive period at Windsor Castle for two consecutive years, in 2020 and 2021, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, before her death in September this year.

Traditionally, Royal Christmases at Sandringham feature a turkey lunch on the house.

Contact our press team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

For more stories like this, check out our news page.

Leave a Comment