Royal family all smiles as they join the Queen for Christmas church service in Sandringham
Queen Elizabeth II and the Royal family have met with cheering crowds while attending a Christmas church service in Sandringham.
The 92-year-old Queen arrived by car while the younger Royals walked from her country house to St Mary Magdalene Church.
Kate, Duchess of Cambridge meets members of the crowd after attending the Christmas service. (AP: Frank Augstein)
Prince Philip, who is 97 and largely retired from public life, did not attend the church service but a royal source told Reuters he is in good health and just wanted to spend the day in private.
Hundreds of people stood waiting at the church as Prince Charles led the way, followed by his sons: Prince William and his wife Catherine and Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, who is expecting their first child in the spring.
Queen Elizabeth II leaves after attending the Christmas service at St Mary Magdalene Church. (AP: Frank Augstein)
Prince Charles’ wife Camilla, who is recovering from the flu, also missed the service along with Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex’s mother Doria Ragland.
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex talking and smiling on their way to the service. (Reuters: Hannah McKay)
Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Sussex were seen talking and smiling as they made their way over from Sandringham House despite their relationship being the subject of media reports of a rift.
The Royal family then went on to attend a 45-minute service, before receiving flowers and mingling with the waiting crowd ahead of a traditional Christmas lunch.
Prince Charles’ wife Camilla, who is recovering from the flu, missed the service. (Twitter: The Royal Family)
Queen Elizabeth II went onto later call for unity in what seems to be a divided world in her annual Christmas message.
She also noted that 2018 was a busy year for her family with two weddings, two new babies and another due next year enough to “help keep a grandmother well occupied”.
Many other members of the Royal family also joined the Queen for the church service, including Prince Andrew, the queen’s son and Princess Eugenie, one of the Queen’s grandchildren, who arrived with her new husband Jack Brooksbank.
Autumn Phillips and Princess Beatrice attended the church service at Sandringham. (Twitter: The Royal Family)
The Royal family usually exchange small gifts on Christmas Eve, a practice popularised by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.
But the Queen typically frowns on extravagant gifts and many of the presents are novelty items.
The Countess of Wessex, Lady Louise Windsor, James Viscount Severn and the Earl of Wessex walking at the church service. (Twitter: The Royal Family)