Royals united! For the first time in two years, the royal family attended the traditional Christmas Day church service at Sandringham Estate.
Prince William and Princess Kate stepped out in style during the Sunday, December 25, procession. The Prince of Wales, 40, wore a navy suit while the Princess of Wales, also 40, opted for a chic olive dress and matching hat. The married couple arrived at Sandringham, walking hand-in-hand with their three children: Prince George, 9, Princess Charlotte, 7, and Prince Louis, 4. George, for his part, matched his father with a navy suit and blue tie. Charlotte and Louis, who made his Sandringham Christmas debut on Sunday, opted for red and navy coats, respectively.
The Wales’ marched behind King Charles III , as he walked alongside his wife, Queen Consort Camilla, into the chapel. Other royal family members followed suit, including Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie and Zara Tindall.
The royals — who skipped the Sandringham holiday walk for the past several years due to the coronavirus pandemic — kicked off the holiday season earlier this month with a group outing at the taping of the Royal Carols: Together at Christmas concert that the Princess of Wales, 40, organized. Charles, 74, and Camilla, 75, were even spotted giving Kate, the Prince of Wales, 40, George and Charlotte hugs as they entered the cathedral on December 15.
Sunday’s holiday celebration also marks the family’s first Christmas since the death of Queen Elizabeth II, who died in September at the age of 96.
“It will be extremely sad not to have the queen there,” a source exclusively told Us Weekly earlier this month of the king’s “bittersweet” Christmas plans with his relatives. “[They are aware the queen] would not want them to mope or let that detract everyone from coming together and enjoying the occasion.”
The insider added at the time: “They’ll share fond memories, raise glasses and likely make speeches about the wonderful life and legacy she’s left behind. There’s a shared commitment among the whole family to stay true to her values and carry on with the wonderful work she did during her time as monarch.”
The source noted that Charles had also extended invitations to his siblings Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward and their respective spouses, who joined the group on the Sunday walk. However, His Majesty’s youngest son, Prince Harry, and wife Meghan Markle were notably absent. The Duke of Sussex, 38, and the Duchess of Sussex, 41, relocated from England to California in March 2020, shortly after stepping down from their duties as senior working royals.
The Archewell cofounders — who share son Archie, 3, and daughter Lilibet, 18 months — made headlines earlier this month with their Harry & Meghan docuseries, in which Harry opened up about his growing distance from members of the family.
“It was hard. Especially spending time, having chats with my brother and my father. [They] were very much focused on the same misinterpretation of the whole situation,” the BetterUp CIO admitted in the December 15 finale of the Netflix doc, reflecting on speaking with Harry and Charles at Prince Philip’s April 2021 memorial. “None of us really wanted to have to talk about it at my grandfather’s funeral, but we did.”
Harry continued: “I’ve had to make peace with the fact that we’re probably never gonna get genuine accountability or a genuine apology. My wife and I, we’re moving on. We’re focused on what’s coming next.”
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