Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Evening Standard
Evening Standard
William Mata

Prince Andrew makes surprise appearance at Sandringham for royals Christmas Day service

The King and Royal family met fans and wellwishers in Sandringham after the traditional Christmas Day service at St Mary Magdalene Church - which was attended by Prince Andrew.

The Prince and Princess of Wales were also in attendance, as was the Queen Consort, at the first such festivity since the death of the Queen in September.

Prince Edward and his wife Sophie also attended in a walking procession behind the King, whose speech will be broadcast on BBC 1 at 3pm on Sunday - and the Royals are set to watch,

Eyes were drawn to the presence of Andrew, whose future within the Firm appears unclear - having beens stripped of duties following his part in the Jeffrey Epstein scandal. The Duke of York, however, walked alongside his brother, Charles, at the funeral for the Queen.

Prince Andrew attended the service alongside other royals (AFP via Getty Images)

The walkabout appeared to have passed without incident. There had been reports of the royals needing to increase their security after protests at recent visits to Luton and York.

The royal standard is flying above the private Norfolk estate where Charles and the Queen Consort will be on Christmas Day, marking a return to traditional royal festivities.

Royal Christmases also feature the greeting of well-wishers, and a family lunch with turkey and all the trimmings.

It will be the first time the royal family has spent Christmas at Sandringham since 2019 and will be a poignant period after the death of the Queen in September.

The group included Prince George, nine, Princess Charlotte, seven, and four-year-old Prince Louis, who walked hand in hand with Kate. Earlier on Sunday, a painting composed by Prince George was shared on social media to celebrate Christmas Day.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who live in California, were absent.

Members of the royal family were greeted outside the church by the Reverend Canon Dr Paul Rhys Williams before they climbed the steps to the church and the National Anthem was sung before the first hymn, O Come, All Ye Faithful.

The late Queen had spent the festive period at Windsor Castle for two years in a row, in 2020 and 2021, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, before her death in September this year.

Traditionally, royal Christmases at Sandringham feature a turkey lunch at the house before the family settle down to watch TV, which this year will include Charles's first Christmas Broadcast as monarch.

The Princess of Wales at the walkabout (REUTERS)

The Prince and Princess of Wales and their children are expected to join the King and his wife, alongside the Princess Royal and her family and the Earl and Countess of Wessex and their children.

Charles has recorded his first Christmas broadcast as monarch, which is likely to reflect on the loss of his mother, and her legacy. The festive message was recorded on December 13 at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.

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

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.