The Royal family's traditions run like clockwork and each December one is guaranteed the Queen will travel to Sandringham to welcome family for the seasonal period. As Her Majesty arrived on Friday, Prince Philip, who spends most of his time in retirement on the Norfolk estate, travelled to London where he was treated at King Edward VII hospital for several days for a pre-existing condition. He was released yesterday morning and will be looking forward to enjoying the festivities with family.
This year there were two very adorable additions in the form of Prince George and Princess Charlotte who made their debut for the church appearance. I've spoken to people over the years who travel to Norfolk to see the royals on Christmas morning and they always speak of the warm atmosphere. George and Charlotte would have heard plenty of cheers and good wishes for the day. When the photos of four generations were released last week, I mentioned George's future role and the very beginnings of the responsibilities in his life we're seeing just glimpses of now. I was delighted he was able to share this "first" with his sister this morning. A new tradition for both of them which will now be a part of their lives after opening gifts and breakfast at Anmer Hall. In a couple of years, Louis will join his older siblings.
George and Charlotte's appearance follows the release of a very sweet photo of William with the children in Norfolk over the summer. It was taken by Kate after they went swimming. Look at little Louis getting a kiss from dad. He's grown quite a bit since then :)
The Queen arrived by car with the Duchess of Cornwall. They chose vibrant coats in red and royal purple.
Members in attendance included Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, the Wessexes, the Yorks, and the Princess Royal and her husband Timothy Lawrence.
The sumptuously decorated chancel with its carved angels frames the silver altar and reredos presented to Queen Alexandra by the American Rodman Wanamaker as a tribute to King Edward VII. He also presented her with the silver pulpit and a silver 17th century Spanish processional cross. Other notable features include a Florentine marble font, a Greek 9th century font and stained glass from the 16th century onward. Aside from Christmas celebrations, Princess Diana and Princess Eugenie were baptised there, and William and Kate chose it as the venue for Princess Charlotte's christening.
Kate and Charlotte departing after the service.
Charlotte followed her mum with a very cute curtsy :)
From there, it was time to meet well-wishers. To say there was excitement in the crowd when the children walked over with their parents would be an understatement.
Kate introduced her daughter to familiar faces who gather every year.
More from the Mail Online:
'Fans praised Charlotte's 'impeccable' manners and 'cheeky' persona as they gifted her presents including a teddy and a pink flamingo toy.
Karen Anvil, who famously took a picture of the 'Fab Four' - the Cambridges and Sussexes two years ago - gifted Charlotte a doll this morning.
Ms Anvil then captured a photo of the four-year-old. Ms Anvil told Sky News: 'She came over with her mum, she liked the doll. Her manners are outstanding - but she's cheeky, she wasn't at all scared.' She said Prince George's manners were also 'perfect'.'
A great shot of Kate receiving flowers.
Kate greets locals.
The Queen smiled as she travelled back to the house.
A terrific video with great footage of the royals chatting after the service and meeting well-wishers.
Upon return to the main house, the family will enjoy lunch at 1.15 pm. Norfolk turkey accompanied by a selection of cold meats and a variety of side dishes is served.
At precisely 3 pm the family gathers round to watch the Queen's Christmas message.
This year, The Queen recalled D-Day and spoke of the path to reconciliation. "This year we marked another important anniversary: D-Day. On 6th June 1944, some 156,000 British, Canadian and American forces landed in northern France. It was the largest ever seabourne invasion and was delayed due to bad weather. I well remember the look of concern on my father's face. He knew the secret D-Day plans but could of course share that burden with no one. For the 75th anniversary of that decisive battle, in a true spirit of reconciliation, those who had formally been sworn enemies came together in friendly commemorations either side of the Channel, putting past differences behind them. Such reconciliation seldom happens overnight. It takes patience and time to rebuild trust, and progress often comes through small steps. The Queen was "struck" by the efforts of those tackling the climate emergency. She also referenced the arrival of the newest addition to the family Archie. "Two hundred years on from the birth of my great, great grandmother, Queen Victoria, Prince Philip and I have been delighted to welcome our eighth great grandchild into our family. Of course, at the heart of the Christmas story lies the birth of a child: a seemingly small and insignificant step overlooked by many in Bethlehem." Her Majesty concluded: "as we all look forward to the start of a new decade, it's worth remembering that it is often the small steps, not the giant leaps, that bring about the most lasting change." You'll notice the Cambridges Christmas card is featured alongside images of Charles and Camilla, a young Prince Philip and the Queen's father.
The Duchess looked festive in a bespoke version of Catherine Walker's Larissa coat (with thanks to Gabi) styled with green accessories.
The original style is a much shorter piece described as: "Luxurious, mocha mohair and faux fur lends a distinctly wintry Russian aesthetic to this beautiful tailored coatdress. The pleated faux fur skirt, nipped at the waist and sumptuous collar will keep winter at bay."
Underneath, Kate wore her Michael Kors peacock print dress.
Kate brought back her rich green Lock & Co. hat for the service.
The Duchess debuted the piece on Christmas Day four years ago.
Kate's new block heel shoes are the Emmy London Josie style in 'greenery' (another great ID this morning by Gabi). They are described as: "An elegant pointed court shoe with a modern block heel. Thanks to the luxuriously padded insole, these gorgeous courts are so comfortable. Lined in leather with a natural nubuck sole. The rich greenery shade is a perfect autumn/winter shade."
And accessorised with Green Amethyst smooth cut stone earrings set in 18ct gold with dazzling diamonds from Kiki McDonough's Candy collection.
I leave you with the Choir of St George’s Chapel singing “Bogoroditse Devo” ("Rejoice, O virgin").
The Choir of St George’s Chapel sing “Bogoroditse Devo” [‘Rejoice, O virgin'] composed by Arvo Pärt (b. 1935) 🎶 #ARoyalChristmas— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) December 24, 2019
📽 Filmed and produced by Martin Stanford. Video © The Dean & Canons of Windsor. Audio ℗ Hyperion Records Ltd, London. pic.twitter.com/QjhLqq6cfp
Wishing you and your loved ones a very Happy Christmas. I hope it's a wonderful day for you all!