George and Charlotte missed Xmas service

  • 26/12/2015
Queen Elizabeth leaves after attending the Christmas Day service at church in Sandringham (Reuters)
Queen Elizabeth leaves after attending the Christmas Day service at church in Sandringham (Reuters)

Prince George and Princess Charlotte stayed inside as the royal family attended their traditional Christmas Day service on the Sandringham estate where a crowd, including New Zealanders, gathered.

Led by the Queen who arrived in a Bentley wearing a festive red dress coat, the rest of the family made their way from Sandringham House to St Mary Magdalene Church for the service which is held every year on the estate.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge smiled warmly as they arrived without their children. Wearing a green coat and matching hat, Kate seemed relaxed as she made conversation with Prince Harry.

They were joined by the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Andrew, the Earl and Countess of Wessex, and Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie.

About 1000 well-wishers gathered in the cold and wet to join in the festivities, which began with the national anthem followed by the hymn Angels from the Realm of Glory.

As they left William and Kate paused to chat with mother and daughter Jill and Vicky Symon, who had travelled from New Plymouth in New Zealand.

Vicky said: "They asked how we were and commented on the cold weather. They also told us how much they enjoyed their recent tour of New Zealand."

The Queen waved to the crowds as some well-wishers shouted: "Merry Christmas Your Majesty."

Harry had his photograph taken with Maureen, a teddy bear owned by the nearby Park House Leonard Cheshire home.

Paul Ashfield, who handed the bear to the prince, said: "We try to get as many royals as possible to pose with the bear.

"Harry has done it before and so has Prince Charles so it is great he was willing to do it again."

NZN