(LONDON) — After two years off due to COVID-19, the British royal family returned this year with its traditional Christmas morning service at Sandringham Estate.
Joining the tradition this year were Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, the children of Prince William and Kate, the prince and princess of Wales.
Also in attendance were King Charles III, George, Louis and Charlotte’s grandfather, and Queen Camilla.
The last time the royal family stepped out for Christmas service at Sandringham was in 2019 with the late Queen Elizabeth II. This year marks the family’s first Christmas without her and the first Christmas for Charles as the sovereign. It’s also the first Christmas for William and Kate since taking on the titles of prince and princess of Wales.
While Elizabeth canceled Christmas service last year at Sandringham, Charles and Camilla attended Christmas mass in Windsor.
In the past, after Christmas service, the family would walk back to Sandringham, the queen’s estate in Norfolk, England, where they would have Christmas lunch and watch the queen deliver her annual Christmas message.
Then, in the evening, the family would usually get together for a Christmas dinner.
On Christmas Eve, the family typically holds its gift exchange, following the German tradition. The gifts are usually funny or homemade.
Earlier this month, Prince William and Kate shared their family’s Christmas card, which featured all of them in a casual photo taken in Norfolk, where they have a country home, Anmer Hall. Last week, the prince and princess of Wales and their children, George and Charlotte, also stepped out for Christmas carol service at Westminster Abbey.
Absent from this year’s Christmas tradition was Prince William’s brother, Prince Harry, and Harry’s wife, Meghan, the duke and duchess of Sussex.
Two weeks ago, that couple released the final three episodes of their six-part docuseries, Harry & Meghan, which focused on their decision to step down from their senior royal roles in 2020, with Harry alleging “institutional gaslighting” and Meghan saying she was “being fed to the wolves,” with stories about her being fed to the press on purpose.
Members of the royal family have not commented on Harry and Meghan’s docuseries and Buckingham Palace said it had no comment on the final three episodes.
Harry and Meghan currently live in California with their two young children, Archie and Lillibet.
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