Princess Anne didn't join her family on Christmas, but for good reason

The Princess Royal was notably absent from the Sandringham Christmas Day service, but the reason why is totally understandable

Princess Anne missed Christmas with the royals this year for this understandable reason
(Image credit: Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)

The Royal Family showed out in force for their first Christmas Day walkabout at Sandringham in three years. King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla led the charge, joined by the likes of Prince William, Kate Middleton and their three children, plus other members of the family including Prince Andrew and Zara and Mike Tindall. However, Princess Anne was missing from proceedings because she was unwell, it’s been reported.

She’s commonly known as the hardest working royal – and, indeed, once again in 2022, Anne, the Princess Royal has officially undertaken the most amount of royal engagements.

The secret behind Anne’s tireless energy is a popular fruit, so stock up for the new year if you want to emulate Anne’s relentless drive.

It was revealed earlier this month that Princess Anne had performed a staggering 214 royal engagements this year – an impressive feat in itself but one that’s even more astonishing considering the Princess Royal also had to contend with the grief of losing her mother, the late Queen Elizabeth this year.

So, it was perhaps a surprise and a cause for concern to some fans to see that Princess Anne was not with her family for the Christmas service at Sandringham.

Anne didn't join the rest of the Royal Family this year

(Image credit: Samir Hussein/WireImage)

However, it’s been reported that Anne simply stayed home at her Gatcombe Park estate due to having a cold.

We know that Anne loves to indulge in a particularly pungent food over the holidays, so what better excuse for her to get comfortable on the sofa and snack away than recovering from the seasonal illness?

It’s not known if Anne joined the family later on in the day, or for their annual Boxing Day gathering.

Princess Anne and husband, Timothy Laurence, stayed home at Gatcombe Park this year

(Image credit: Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

The Princess Royal also missed Kate Middleton’s Together at Christmas carol service held on December 15 at Westminster Abbey, but this was due to a schedule clash rather than illness. Anne attended the London International Horse Show at ExCel London on the same day, meaning she could not make the service.

While many fans were disappointed to miss out on an appearance this Christmas, the Princess Royal most definitely deserves a rest after the hard work she’s put in for the family this year. Her number of official engagements easily surpasses that of her brother, King Charles, who carried out 181.

As proof of their elevated importance as senior members of the Royal Family, Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex came in third and fourth respectively, with 143 and 138 engagements.

Prince William completes the top five, undertaking a commendable 126 engagements.

Jack Slater
Freelance writer

Jack Slater is not the Last Action Hero, but that's what comes up first when you Google him. Preferring a much more sedentary life, Jack gets his thrills by covering news, entertainment, celebrity, film and culture for woman&home, and other digital publications.

Having written for various print and online publications—ranging from national syndicates to niche magazines—Jack has written about nearly everything there is to write about, covering LGBTQ+ news, celebrity features, TV and film scoops, reviewing the latest theatre shows lighting up London’s West End and the most pressing of SEO based stories.