King Charles led the rest of the royals, including disgraced Prince Andrew, for the family’s traditional Christmas Day walk at Sandringham’s St. Mary Magdalene Church—his first as monarch following the death of Queen Elizabeth in September.
Walking alongside wife Queen Consort Camilla, Charles led the royal group, with Prince William and Kate Middleton behind him, with their three children, Prince George, breakout royal superstar Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis. Kate wore a military-style olive-green coat by Alexander McQueen and a wide-brimmed fedora hat with feather detail.
Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, daughters of Prince Andrew, were also in the group; Beatrice’s husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi and their stepson Christopher Woolf were with the group. Sarah, Duchess of York, Beatrice and Eugenie’s mother, was expected to join the family for lunch at Sandringham. Prince Edward and his wife Sophie were also attendance with their two children, Louise and Edward. Zara Phillips and her husband Mike Tindall were with daughter Lena, alongside Peter Phillips, Princess Anne’s son, and his two children.
It was Andrew’s presence that caused the most surprise. His excommunication from royal life and duties in the wake of the Virginia Roberts Giuffre scandal had led observers to suppose that he would not be seen with the rest of the family at the traditional photocall—and may suggest that Charles and William’s reported determination to keep him out of the public eye has softened.
The very visible united front followed the broadcast of a carol service on Christmas Eve on British television organized by Kate, and comes after weeks of headlines generated by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Netflix documentary Harry & Meghan, and just ahead of the publication of Harry’s memoir Spare.
On Christmas Eve, Meghan dismissed British tabloid The Sun’s apology following the publication of a widely condemned column by Jeremy Clarkson—in which he relished the idea of her being pelted with excrement while being paraded through the streets—as a “publicity stunt.”
This year marks the first time the royals have gathered to mark Christmas at Sandringham since pre-pandemic in 2019. Later today at 3 p.m. British time, Charles’ first speech as monarch will be broadcast on television.
Also on Christmas morning, Prince William and Kate Middleton posted a picture of a stag drawn by Prince George to illustrate their Christmas Day message to their 15 million followers, which read “Happy Christmas! [Painting] by George.” The image showed a stag with robins resting on its antlers as snow falls around the creature.