King Charles and Camilla to hold royal family Christmas at Sandringham

It will be the first time in three years that the royal family will celebrate Christmas at the private residence

Britain's Queen Consort Camilla, left, and Britain's King Charles III arrive to attend the 'Together At Christmas Carol Service' at Westminster Abbey in London. AFP
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The royal family will spend Christmas at Sandringham for the first time in three years, Buckingham Palace has confirmed.

Marking a return to traditional royal festivities, King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla will celebrate Christmas Day at the late queen’s former Norfolk estate with members of the family.

The gathering at Sandringham will be the first time the royal family has spent Christmas at the private royal residence since 2019, and it will be a poignant period following the death of Queen Elizabeth II in September.

“Their Majesties the king and the queen consort, accompanied by members of the royal family, will attend the Morning Service on Christmas Day at Sandringham Church on Sunday 25th December 2022,” Buckingham Palace said in a brief statement.

It is probable King Charles and Camilla will be joined by the Prince and Princess of Wales and their children, the Princess Royal and her family as well as the Earl and Countess of Wessex and their children — but it remains to be seen if the disgraced Duke of York will make a public appearance.

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Christmas at Sandringham follows a break, when, due to the Covid pandemic, the late queen spent the festive period at Windsor Castle two years in a row — the first with the Duke of Edinburgh, separated from her wider family in lockdown.

Royal Christmases feature a morning trip to St Mary Magdalene Church, the greeting of well-wishers and a family lunch with turkey and all the trimmings.

King Charles has reportedly recorded his historic first Christmas Broadcast as monarch, during which he will no doubt reflect on the loss of his mother and her legacy.

Traditionally, members of the royal family sit down to watch the televised address when it airs after lunch, usually at 3pm on December 25.

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

The late queen celebrated the eve of her platinum jubilee there seven months before her death.

It was bought in 1862 by the then-Prince of Wales, who later became Edward VII, as a private country retreat.

The house was rebuilt in 1870 to ensure it was big enough for his growing family.

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George V, the queen’s grandfather, described the house as: “Dear old Sandringham, the place I love better than anywhere else in the world.”

George VI, the queen’s father, wrote: “I have always been so happy here and I love the place.”

Following Queen Elizabeth's death, the Prince and Princess of Wales viewed floral tributes left by members of the public at the gates of Sandringham.

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Updated: December 20, 2022, 12:53 AM