UK

Queen and Royal Family attend church service at Sandringham

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Media captionThe Royal family outside church at Sandringham

The Queen and other members of the Royal Family have greeted well-wishers outside the Sandringham church which they attended for a Christmas service.

A big crowd had gathered to see the family, who were not accompanied by five-month-old Prince George.

They listened to the service via loudspeakers and afterwards the Queen was presented with gifts by children.

The Royal Family then returned to the Sandringham estate for a traditional Christmas dinner.

The family followed the German tradition of exchanging presents on Christmas Eve rather than on Christmas Day with the Queen preferring practical gifts to be given.

The Queen was wearing a burnt orange cashmere Stewart Parvin coat, fur hat and a diamond brooch. She arrived for the service by car, accompanied by her granddaughter Zara Tindall, who is eight months pregnant.

Some members of the public enquired about Prince George. Kate, who collected flowers from some children, indicated that her son was doing well and had already opened a few Christmas presents.

And William told the crowd: "We've had a good morning with George and I can't wait until next year when he's bigger."

Prince Harry was seen still sporting a beard from his journey in the Arctic with the charity Walking With the Wounded. He said he intended to keep the beard as it was a "Royal tradition".

After the service, conducted by the rector of Sandringham Jonathan Riviere, the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall chatted to local residents, while the Queen was given gifts from children.

Kate also collected flowers from a second line of children.

Image caption The Queen receives a bunch of flowers from a child after the service
Image caption Prince Philip, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall were at the service
Image caption The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge walk through crowds of well-wishers on their way to the church
Image caption Prince Philip and Prince Andrew accompanied each other
Image caption Prince Harry was one of the members of the Royal Family in attendance
Image caption Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice joined the royal party

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