Royal family attend Christmas Day service at Sandringham

The royal family marked Christmas Day by attending the traditional festive church service on the King’s Sandringham estate.

Royal fans gathered as the Prince and Princess of Wales walked hand in hand with their children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis from Sandringham house on their way to St Mary Magdalene Church.

They walked behind the King and Queen, who were greeted by about a thousand local residents, many of whom had waited hours on Christmas morning to catch a glimpse of the family.

For the second year in succession the disgraced Duke of York walked from Sandringham, in Norfolk, to church with the family.

His ex-wife, Sarah, Duchess of York appeared in public at Sandringham for the first time in years, walking beside her ex-husband and smiling broadly at the press.

Andrew’s daughters were with their husbands, Princess Beatrice with Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi and Prince Eugenie with Jack Brooksbank.

The royals will enjoy Christmas festivities at Sandringham House this year, where the Queen spent every Christmas since 1998.

Sandringham House has been the private home of four generations of British monarchs for more than 160 years, and now belongs to the King.

Charles’s second Christmas message as monarch will be broadcast on Monday afternoon, and this year it was recorded in the Centre Room in Buckingham Palace which leads on to the royal residence’s iconic balcony.

The King, like Queen Elizabeth II, writes his Christmas broadcasts and last year he followed his mother’s well-established template, a personal reflection on the year, touching on current issues and with a Christian framework.

Meanwhile, the Prince and Princess of Wales released a new photo of their children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

The black and white photo, showing the three children casually dressed and sitting on a wooden bench, was taken by Josh Shinner, who also took the image for William and Kate’s Christmas card this year.

The couple posted it on X with the caption: “Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas, from our family to yours! W & C”.

Shinner’s previous sitters include actresses Florence Pugh and Jodie Comer, and singer Sam Smith.

Last year, more than 10.6 million people tuned in to watch the King's Christmas address - the first to be delivered since the death of Queen Elizabeth.

Charles will give the address from a Buckingham Palace room decorated with a living Christmas tree in a bid to highlight sustainability.

A picture released by Buckingham Palace on Saturday showed the smiling monarch posing in front of the tree.

It is the first time a living tree has been used as part of the backdrop for Charles’ annual festive address to the nation and Commonwealth.