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Royal Family attend Christmas Day Church Service without The Queen

Senior members of The Royal Family attended the traditional Christmas Day church service this morning, with one notable absence.

The Queen was unable to attend the service for the first time in living memory due to her ongoing recovery from a heavy cold.

Leading The Royal Family in Her Majesty’s place was The Duke of Edinburgh who felt well enough to go to Church this morning, despite also suffering from a heavy cold a few days ago.

Following The Duke into Church were The Prince of Wales & Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Harry, the Yorks, the Wessexs, The Princess Royal, as well as other royal guests who are staying with the Queen.

Missing from this year’s service were Cambridge family, who instead opted to stay at in Bucklebury this year with the Middleton family.

Also absent were Zara and Mike Tindall, after an announcement was made yesterday that they lost their second baby due to miscarriage.

The church service is the only public appearance the Royal Family make on Christmas day, spending the rest of the day at Sandringham House together for Christmas lunch and other festivities.

Many members of the Royal Family will take part in the traditional boxing day shoot tomorrow before festivities draw to a close and the royals return home.

Later today at 15:00 GMT, the Queen’s Christmas message will be broadcast across the UK and Commonwealth. This year’ message focuses on “unsung heroes” in society, including volunteers and charity workers.

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh are expected to remain at Sandringham until early to mid-February before returning to London.

They arrived in Norfolk on Thursday by helicopter rather than train, as was originally planned.