British Royal Family

Prince William and Duchess Catherine take the children to church

They might be skipping Christmas with The Queen, but the Cambridges made sure they didn't miss their traditional trip to morning church on December 25.

By Bella Brennan
Prince William and Duchess Catherine have commenced their Christmas celebrations with a family outing to St Mark's Church in Englefield, Berkshire, for a morning service.
The royal parents were joined by children Prince George, three, Princess Charlotte, one, Catherine's parents Carole and Michael Middleton, her siblings, James and Pippa, and Pippa's fiancé, James Matthews.
It's believed James and Pippa will marry at the same church in May next year.
All eyes were on Prince George as he left the service with a candy cane in his mouth. Looking rather chuffed with his sweet treat, the oldest child of William and Catherine was guided out of church by his father.
The third in line to the throne rugged up in a grey three-quarter coat and his trademark knee-high socks.
Prince George was so well behaved, he was given a candy cane at the end of the church service.
The Cambridges were joined by Catherine's siblings and parents.
Meanwhile Charlotte looked adorable in a navy overcoat, maroon stockings and a matching maroon bow.
At one point, the inquisitive one-year-old tried to put her candy cane on the ground. An attentive Duchess Catherine watched on and helped hold up Charlotte so she wouldn't lose her balance.
The Duchess opted for an elegant mulberry-coloured jacket with a fur trim.
Following the trip to church, the family will assemble at Carole and Michael's home for a lively Christmas lunch.
Come on dad! The three-year-old held tightly to his father's hand.
This is the second time William and Catherine have spent Christmas day with the Duchess' side of the family.
Prince George looked pretty chuffed with his treat.
It's believed Wills and Kate want to spend Christmas with the Middletons so their young children can enjoy a more relaxed environment.
While Sandringham is a more formal affair, Christmas at the Middleton household is a vastly different atmosphere.
Pippa has previously spoken about their festive celebrations, describing it as "magical" and revealing that her dad always rocks a fancy dress outfit.
One of his favourites includes an inflatable sumo wrestler - and we can just imagine how much George and Charlotte would love that!
This is the second time since their 2011 nuptials that Catherine and William, who are usually firm fixtures at Sandringham, will skip the Queen's celebrations.
Also breaking with tradition is the fact the parents of two brought along their kids to church, as it's usually prohibited at Sandringham.
Mother-daughter style! Catherine and Charlotte worked coordinating maroon hues.
It's believed the couple want to give their children a more relaxed Christmas day with their grandparents.
Following church, the Cambridges will head to the Middleton's Bucklebury home for lunch.
Meanwhile at Sandringham, members of the royal family have gathered for the annual service at St Mary Magdalene Church.
Although The Queen, who is recovering from a bad cold, was absent, Prince Philip, Prince Charles, The Duchess Of Cornwall and Prince Harry were in attendance.
This is the first time the 90-year-old has missed the morning church service at Sandringham in nearly 30 years, causing concern for her health.
"The Queen continues to recover from a heavy cold and will stay indoors to assist with her recovery. Her Majesty will participate in the royal family Christmas celebrations during the day," a statement from the palace explained.
WATCH: The Queen's 2016 Christmas message below. Post continues after the video...
Charlotte was also given a candy cane and at one point, tried to put it on the ground.
A patient Catherine watched on as her daughter played around.
So adorable! Charlotte has grown so much since the royal tour of Canada in September.
Her absence comes off the back of her Christmas travel to Norfolk being delayed a day as she and Philip had taken ill. Last week, it was also confirmed she would be scaling back on royal duties and stepping down as the patron of a number of charities.
It's been a tough Christmas for the royal family with the heartbreaking news Zara and Mike Tindall have lost their second child.
“Very sadly, Zara and Mike Tindall have lost their baby. At this difficult time, we ask that everyone respects their privacy," a statement explained.
Queen Elizabeth has skipped church at Sandringham as she recovers from a bad cold.
The royal family's Christmas has been marred by heartbreak with the devastating news Zara and Mike Tindall have lost their unborn second child.

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