Kate misses royal church service

Andover Advertiser: There had been rumours that Prince William and Catherine would attend the service after spending Christmas Day with her family There had been rumours that Prince William and Catherine would attend the service after spending Christmas Day with her family

The royals have attended church at Sandringham without the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

There had been rumours that Prince William and Catherine would attend the service after spending Christmas Day with her family in Bucklebury, Berkshire.

But it is understood the couple paid a brief visit to the Queen's Norfolk residence this week, during which they attended a shoot on the estate, but left before the church service.

Only a small contingent of the Royal Family, made up of the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Earl and Countess of Wessex, attended the service at St Mary Magdalene Church as about 200 wellwishers looked on.

Members of the crowd expressed disappointment at William and Kate's absence.

The Queen, wearing a pink dress coat, was driven the short distance from Sandringham house in a Bentley, escorted by the Countess of Wessex.

She had recovered from a cold to attend the Christmas Day service.

The Duke of Edinburgh, 91, who was forced to miss the service last year because of a heart problem, made his way to church on foot.

Earlier this month, it was announced that William and Kate are expecting their first child, after the duchess was admitted to hospital with an acute bout of morning sickness. Since then they have attended minimal public engagements.

Prince Harry is absent from the celebrations, as he is serving as an Apache helicopter pilot with the Army Air Corps in Afghanistan.

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