Why Prince George and Princess Charlotte Didn’t Attend Christmas Service with Kate Middleton This Year


Prince George at Christmas service in 2016

Getty ImagesAnwar Hussein

This morning, Kate Middleton and Prince William went out with the rest of the royal family for Christmas service in Norfolk, the family’s annual tradition. Missing from the action were all three of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s children: Prince Louis (understandably because he’s an infant), Princess Charlotte and Prince George. George and Charlotte have been photographed with their parents at Christmas service before though, two years ago when they were in Bucklebury, Berkshire, spending the holidays with Kate’s family.

The Middleton Family Attend Church On Christmas Day

The family at service in 2016.

Getty ImagesSamir Hussein

The Royal Family Attend Church On Christmas Day

Kate and William today, without the kids.

Getty ImagesStephen Pond

George is five now, while Charlotte is three—and their ages have everything to do with why they haven’t ever been out for the royal family’s Christmas service in Sandringham. Children typically don’t attend service with the family until they’re a little older. Prince Harry’s first photographed appearance at Christmas day service was when he was seven:

Royalty - Royal Family Christmas - Sandringham

Getty ImagesMartin Keene – PA Images

William, meanwhile, was five, but there doesn’t seem to be a hard rule about what age children start attending. Kate and William may have decided now to delay George’s first service for another year or until Charlotte is ready to join too:

Diana And Children

Getty ImagesPrincess Diana Archive

George, Charlotte, and Louis have all been part of other royal Christmas events though. They were photographed en route to the Queen’s pre-Christmas lunch at Buckingham Palace with their parents last week.

Queen's Christmas lunch 2018

Getty ImagesAaron Chown – PA Images

Queen's Christmas lunch 2018

Getty ImagesJoe Giddens – PA Images

Queen's Christmas lunch 2018

Getty ImagesJoe Giddens – PA Images

The three are staying with their parents now at Anmer Hall on the Queen’s Sandringham estate. And the kids already opened their presents last night: the royal family follows the German tradition and does gift opening on Christmas Eve.

Charlotte and George were genuinely excited for the holiday as far back as the end of November. Kate spoke then during an appearance in Leicester about how eager her kids were. “They’re getting excited for Christmas time because they’ve started all their Christmas songs and Christmas trees are going up,” she said. “It was really sweet.”


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