Saturday, June 25

Royals Mark Christmas With Traditional Service



The Queen has marked Christmas Day by attending a traditional church service at Sandringham. Some well-wishers waited from 4am to catch a glimpse of the royals – with hundreds gathered by mid-morning.

The Queen arrived in a Bentley wearing a red dress coat, but Prince George and Princess Charlotte stayed at home. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge smiled as they arrived, with Kate making conversation with Prince Harry.

They were joined by the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Andrew, The Earl and Countess of Wessex and Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie. The service was held at St Mary Magdalene’s church on the family’s Norfolk estate.

Later today, the Queen’s Christmas message will be broadcast. In it, the Queen will speak about the “moments of darkness” faced by many across the globe this year and highlight the Bible as a source of solace during her Christmas Day address.

The annual address – which traditionally has a strong religious framework – is written by the Queen and this year sees her quoting from the Gospel of John.

She is expected to say: “It is true that the world has had to confront moments of darkness this year. “But the Gospel of John contains a verse of great hope, often read at Christmas carol services: ‘The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it’.”

A series of atrocities took place in 2015, including the terror attacks in Paris, a gun attack at a Tunisian resort during the summer and several mass shootings.

Despite the many tragedies suffered across the world, the Queen will describe the festive period as “a time to remember all that we have to be thankful for”.

This year also marked the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two, and the Queen will offer renewed thanks for the service and sacrifice of those who took fought in the conflict.

She will also give thanks to “the people who bring love and happiness into our own lives”. The Queen recorded this year’s message while seated at a desk in Buckingham Palace’s 18th Century Room.

She wore a tweed dress in white and silver by Angela Kelly. The dress was part of an outfit worn for a Diamond Jubilee visit to Wales in 2012.