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British Royals

Prince Andrew stays away from Christmas Day church service

Northern Ireland Office via Flickr CC

The Duke of York missed the traditional 11am church service on Christmas Day, instead choosing to stay with his father, the Duke of Edinburgh, at Sandringham House

It was widely speculated that Prince Andrew would stay away from church on Christmas Day following his retirement from public life a couple of months ago.

The Duke did, however, attend the early service at St. Mary Magdalene at Sandringham with the Queen away from the public eye.

Andrew attended the 8am service alongside the Queen and his older brother, the Prince of Wales. The Earl of Wessex and his daughter, Lady Louise Windsor, were also spotted at the church for the early service.

The rest of the Royal Family accompanied Her Majesty to Mattins at the 11am service.

The Duke of York stepped back from public life in November as questions over his relationship with convicted sex offender, Jeffrey Epstein, continued. Prince Andrew, who is 59, was widely criticised for comments made in an interview with BBC Two’s Newsnight programme in which he discussed his friendship with Epstein.

The Royal Family is at Sandringham for Christmas celebrations. The Duke of Edinburgh joined them on Christmas Eve having been released from hospital that morning after a five day stay at King Edward VII where he received treatment for a ”pre-existing condition”.

On Christmas Day afternoon, the Queen’s speech will be broadcast. This year, Her Majesty speaks of the ”bumpy” year experienced by many.

About author

Lydia is a writer, blogger and journalist. She's worked in the media for over twenty years as a broadcast reporter, producer and editor as well as feature and online writer. As well as royals and royal history, she's a news junkie and podcaster.