The Royal Family spend their Christmas together yet far apart

The Royal Family – like so many of us – spend their Christmas together yet far apart due to the risk of Omicron

  • The Royal family was this year, like many of us, separated and scattered as they celebrated Christmas Day 
  • The Queen, who recently suffered a bout of ill health, remained at Windsor Castle for pared back festivities
  • Prince William and Kate stayed in Norfolk where the pair were hosting members of the Middleton family 
  • Princess Anne and her husband were isolating at their country estate, Gatcombe Park in Gloucestershire

As the Queen acknowledged, the curse of Covid had once again upset her family’s festive plans.

But just like the rest of us – separated and scattered – the Royals were determined to make the best of it yesterday.

Normally the 95-year-old Monarch’s nearest and dearest descend en masse on her Sandringham estate for Christmas Day.

Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall arrive to attend the Christmas Day morning church service at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle

The pair, pictured, spent Christmas with the Queen along with Prince Edward and Sophie at Windsor Castle this year

This year the risk of Omicron was considered too great for the Queen, who recently suffered a bout of ill health, so she remained at Windsor Castle for a pared back celebration with Prince Charles and Camilla and Prince Edward and Sophie.

William and Kate stayed in Norfolk where they were hosting members of the Middleton family, while Princess Anne and her husband Sir Timothy Laurence, who has tested positive for Covid, were isolating at their country estate, Gatcombe Park in Gloucestershire.

Of the other senior Royals, Prince Andrew, who lives at Royal Lodge, Windsor, is thought to have dropped in on his mother although he didn’t join his brothers for the morning service at St George’s Chapel in the grounds of the castle.

Sophie, Countess of Wessex steps out to attend the Christmas Day morning church service at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle

The Duchess of Cambridge, pictured, stunned TV viewers with a bravura piano performance when she accompanied Tom Walker on his Christmas song, For Those Who Can’t Be Here, at her Westminster Abbey carol concert

Kate reveals her talent on the piano – just like Diana 

 The Duchess of Cambridge has stunned TV viewers with a bravura piano performance – evoking memories of her late mother-in-law Princess Diana’s impromptu turn at the keyboard in Australia in 1988.

Kate accompanied Tom Walker on his Christmas song, For Those Who Can’t Be Here, at her Westminster Abbey carol concert, which was broadcast on ITV on Christmas Eve.

The pop star said yesterday he had kept the performance a secret, ‘even from my own mother – she was in floods of tears watching it on the telly.’

He said he’d been asked to perform after Kate saw him at a charity event ‘then a week later they came back and said, “Would it be all right if the Duchess played along with you?”‘

The Duchess’ performance evoked memories of her late mother-in-law Princess Diana’s impromptu turn at the keyboard in Australia in 1988

In her Christmas message, broadcast yesterday, the Queen noted ‘Covid again means we can’t celebrate quite as we may have wished’. In their own Christmas message, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge jointly penned a tweet, saying: ‘This Christmas will be different to what so many of us had planned.

‘From those who are alone or having to isolate away from loved ones, to the incredible people supporting our NHS and caring for those most in need – we are thinking of you. W & C.’

Later the couple, accompanied by their children, George, eight, Charlotte, six, and Louis, three, were photographed leaving the Christmas Day morning church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham.

Prince William, Kate and their children George and Charlotte attend Mary Magdelane church in Sandringham on Christmas Day

The Duchess of Cambridge and her daughter Charlotte. This year William and Kate stayed in Norfolk where they were hosting members of the Middleton family

Prince George pictured leaving the Christmas Day church service in the morning at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk

Smiling for the waiting photographers, Kate wore a £97 dark brown Suffolk fedora with pheasant feather wrap by hatmakers Hicks & Brown and £165 pair of fern earrings from Zoraida.

Meanwhile, the Queen has missed out on the St George’s Chapel service, which was also attended by the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester alongside the Wessexes and Charles and Camilla.

The Duchess of Cornwall wore a patchwork coat, believed to be by her favourite designer Bruce Oldfield, accessorised with a hat by Philip Treacy, quilted Chanel handbag and see-through umbrella.

Edward and Sophie, who chose a striking leopardprint pillbox hat by Jane Taylor Millinery and £525 Jimmy Choo heels, were accompanied by their daughter Lady Louise and son James, Viscount Severn.

It is understood that the Queen’s absence is a personal choice and follows a precautionary approach seen over the past six months.

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