Prince Edward, Sophie Wessex and Lady Louise Windsor attended Christmas Day church service - but where was the Queen?


Prince Edward Sophie Wessex
The Wessex family attended Christmas Day service in Sandringham
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Prince Edward, Sophie Wessex and their two children attended the Christmas Day church service in Sandringham - but all other members of the royal family were absent. 

  • The Wessex family were spotted heading to St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, which is in Tier 2 
  • Prince Edward and Sophie Wessex were the only members of the royal family to attend the Christmas Day service, despite it being the usual spot for all of the royals to gather on Christmas morning 
  • It follows royal news that Princess Beatrice is set to enjoy a 'second wedding' to Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi

Prince Edward, Sophie Wessex, James Viscount Severn, Lady Louise

The Wessex family attended church together 

(Image credit: Getty Images)

On a regular Christmas morning, crowds of adoring fans line the streets of Sandringham in Norfolk to catch a glimpse of the royal family as they come together to attend the Christmas Day church service at St Mary Magdalene Church. 

But this year Prince Edward, Sophie Wessex and their two children James, Viscount Severn and Lady Louise Windsor, were the only royals to gather for the church service for fear other members of the family would have attracted large crowds amid the global pandemic. 

Police even released a rare statement to remind members of the public not to gather for the royal walkabout.

"Members of the public and media are advised there will be no organised royal event at Sandringham this year," it read.

"Members of the Royal Family will not be attending the usual Christmas Day service."

The Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cambridge, the Duchess of Cambridge, the Duchess of Sussex and the Duke of Sussex arriving to attend the Christmas Day morning church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk.

The royal family during a previous Christmas Day at Sandringham

(Image credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire/PA Images)

Despite there being no organised event, Sophie Wessex, Prince Edward and their two children drove to the 11am church service in their Land Rover Discovery.

All members of the family wore masks and stuck to covid-19 guidelines - which currently say that in Tier 2 (including Sandringham) you can attend places of worship with members of your household.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge take part in 'clap for carers' with their three children

The Cambridge family were unable to mix with the Middletons over Christmas 

(Image credit: Getty)

This year is the first time the Queen has not attended the Christmas Day church service at Sandringham in over thirty years, after she and Prince Philip chose to celebrate Christmas "quietly" at Windsor Castle.

The last-minute change in government guidelines last week put a spanner in the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's festive plans too, after the Middleton's Berskshire home was plunged into Tier 4.

The couple were due to spend their Christmas Day with Mike and Carole Middleton, as well as Catherine's sister Pippa and her husband James Matthews. 

The Cambridge's had already made a lucky escape from Kensington Palace and have been staying at Anmer Hall in Norfolk - where it is thought they'll remain for the festive period. 

Georgia Farquharson
Georgia Farquharson

Georgia writes across Woman & Home and Good to Know and specialises in all things royal. Previously labelled the "Queen of the royals," Georgia knows the whose who and what's what when it comes to the monarchy. When she's not eagerly following the royal family, Georgia enjoys shopping and self-care. She lives with this motto in mind; "if your dreams don't scare you, they aren't big enough."