Monday 19 February 2018

'Where's the baby?' Royals keep Prince George under wraps

Kate Middleton collects flowers from well-wishers as she leaves a Christmas Day service at the church on the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk.
Kate Middleton collects flowers from well-wishers as she leaves a Christmas Day service at the church on the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk.

Ben Kendall

Prince George enjoyed a "lovely" first Christmas but stayed in the warm as the British royal family attended their traditional Christmas Day service.

It was a full house at Sandringham as four generations gathered for the festivities on the Norfolk estate.

Prince William and Kate Middleton looked relaxed as they made the journey to St Mary Magdalene Church on foot holding hands. But there was no sign of George as temperatures stayed just above freezing.

One member of the crowd shouted: "Where's the baby?"

Wearing a tartan Alexander McQueen coat and a hat by Gina Foster, Kate smiled and waved to the crowds.

As she left the service, she stopped to chat to well-wisher Cicely Howard (75), who asked about the baby.

"She told me he was having a lovely day but was more interested in the wrapping paper than the presents," Ms Howard said.

Prince William told the crowd: "We've had a good morning with George and I can't wait until next year when he's bigger."

The Duchess of Cambridge was seen curtseying to the queen, who wore a burnt orange cashmere Stewart Parvin coat, fur hat and a diamond broach, as the family attended a private service earlier in the morning.

Prince Harry, still sporting a beard from his exertions in the Arctic with the charity Walking With the Wounded, attended alone. He said he intended to keep his beard as it was a "royal tradition".

Prince Andrew accompanied Prince Philip as they led the foot procession.

After the service, conducted by the rector of Sandringham, Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, chatted to Park House residents while the queen was presented with gifts from children.

Well-wishers

Eight-months pregnant Zara Phillips chose to travel by car with the queen.

Prince Edward approached the crowd and joked: "I bet none of you know who I am."

About 3,000 well-wishers gathered outside the church to watch them arrive.

Meanwhile, the queen has spoken about her great-grandson Prince George in her Christmas broadcast, and said the birth of a baby allows people to think about the future with renewed "happiness and hope".

Irish Independent

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