British Royals showed up en masse at St. Mary Magdalene Church this morning, and were greeted by a record 3,000-strong crowd of well-wishers. An estimated 28 members of the British Royal Family were at Sandringham this Christmas, though not all attended church.
This was the first Sandringham Christmas for the Duchess of Cambridge and Mike Tindall; the Duchess spent some time talking to the crowds and receiving flowers. According to the BBC, crowds started showing up at 7 a.m. and the line soon stretched nearly 1000 feet.
According to ‘The Mirror,” the Duchess of Cambridge wore a “mulled wine” outfit, which under any other circumstance would be called burgundy. The hat was Jane Corbett, and the coat was by an “independent British dressmaker.”
Queen Elizabeth wore a dress in lavender Armani wool gabardine, and a pale lavender wool boucle coat, both designed by Karl Ludwig. Her hat, like her Christmas broadcast outfit, was by royal dresser Angela Kelly. The Queen looked tired and strained, but broke out her signature smile when children lined up with bouquets of flowers after the service.
Reverend Jonathan Riviere reportedly said, “We pray for the Queen and the Royal Family, especially today we pray for Prince Philip and his continued recovery.”
After the service, royals talked to the crowds, and it emerged that Prince Philip, who underwent emergency heart surgery last Friday, is doing better. According to Prince Charles he is “very well,” and “very determined.” The Duchess of Cambridge stayed at least 20 minutes after church.
Most of the senior royals were present at the service, including all four of the Queen’s children. Peter and Autumn Phillips were there, with the six-month baby bump very prominent behind a warm coat, while more rarely seen Royals included Viscount Linley and Lady Sarah Chatto, the daughter of the late Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon, with her husband and son.
The Royal Family is expected to visit Prince Philip later this afternoon.
- Queen’s 2011 Christmas message
- Queen’s Christmas speeches available in Kindle e-book
Sources: BBC; Telegraph; The Mirror
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