The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge stepped out with their children Prince George and Princess Charlotte for a Christmas morning church service.
This comes as other members of the family gather for one of the highlights in the royal calendar – their annual church service at Sandringham.
In a break from tradition, William and Kate have this year chosen to spend the holidays with her parents, Michael and Carol Middleton, at their home in the village of Bucklebury, Berkshire, some 170 miles away from the Sandringham estate.
The pair and their children were joined by Kate’s parents and brother James as well as her newly-engaged sister Pippa Middleton and James Matthews for the service at St Mark’s Church in Englefield, Berkshire – where Pippa is set to marry next year.
This is the second time William and Kate have spent time with the Middleton family over Christmas.
In 2012, Kate was suffering with severe morning sickness while pregnant with Prince George so stayed with her parents.
In another unusual move for the family, Kate and William chose to take their children along to church this morning – a move they would not usually make at Sandringham.
Prince George and Princess Charlotte attended their first Christmas communion service at the 12th century St Mark’s Church in Englefield near the Middleton family home.
Bells rang as the Royals arrived outside the church where some 100 smiling locals were seen entering for its 10.30am Sunday service.
Prince George walked along holding his father’s hand while and Princess Charlotte was carried in her mother’s arms.
Prince William could be seen talking animatedly to his son as they strolled through the church yard, as the youngster wrapped up warm against the cold wind in a smart grey woollen coat.
Princess Charlotte looked adorable as she wore a navy coat accessorised with thick red tights and a red ribbon in her hair.
The Duchess of Cambridge looked stylish and suitable festive as she recycled her maroon Hobbs coat previously worn in March 2013.
It came as a surprise to many that, in this special year the Queen reached her magnificent 90-year milestone and Prince Philip turned 95, two of their great-grandchildren Prince George, aged three, and Princess Charlotte, 18 months, will not be with them.
Royals including Prince Charles, The Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Harry, the Earl of Wessex and Prince Andrew made their way from Sandringham House to St Mary Magdalene Church to enjoy a private mass at 9am, before a second service at 11am today.
However the Queen herself was notably absent as she continues to recover from a heavy cold.
As supreme Governor of the Church of England, the Queen’s faith is incredibly important to her – and this is the first time in nearly 30 years the 90-year-old Monarch has missed the service, which she and her husband Prince Philip, 95, have attended every year since 1988.
This comes amid a tumultuous week for the royals, which has seen the Queen and her husband the Duke of Edinburgh struck down with illness and the tragic news her granddaughter Zara Tindall had lost her unborn baby.
Pippa Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge’s sister, will be a spring bride as she walks down the aisle at her family church in May next year.
According to friends, the ceremony will take place on Saturday May 20 at St Marks’ Church in Englefield, Berkshire, with the reception taking place back at the Middleton family home in Bucklebury a few miles away.
Prince George, Pippa’s nephew, is tipped to be a page boy and her niece Princess Charlotte, who will have just turned two, a flower girl.
The Duchess of Cambridge’s little sister shot to public attention when she wore a bottom-hugging bridesmaid’s dress at the royal wedding in 2011.
But she is said to have wanted a smaller, more intimate ‘family’ wedding when she weds wealthy hedge fund trader James Matthews next year.
The couple are believed to be setting a marquee up in the garden of Michael and Carole Middleton’s mansion with upmarket Portaloos brought in for the occasion.
Trendy designer Giles Deacon is rumoured to be making Pippa’s dress after he was spotted carrying garment bags into the £17 million house with his and hers bathrooms she and James share in London.
Chelsea florist Lavender Green is arranging the flowers – likely to include spring blooms like daffodils.
SOURCE: Daily Mail, Amie Gordon