Norfolk Police has issued a rare statement on the Royal Family as Christmas Day approaches. In an apparent bid to avoid gatherings of people hoping to spot royals outside St Mary Magdalene Church, local police said there will be no walkabout by members of the House of Windsor tomorrow.
The local police said in a statement: “Members of the public and media are advised there will be no organised royal event at Sandringham this year.
“Members of the Royal Family will not be attending the usual Christmas Day service.”
Members of the Royal Family started attending Christmas Day service at St Mary Magdalene Church, a chapel on the grounds of the Sandringham Estate, in 1988.
Dozens of royal fans usually gather from the early hours of December 25 to spot their favourite royals and hope to exchange a few words with them on their way back to Sandringham House.
Last year, Kate and Prince William’s eldest son and daughter – Prince George and Princess Charlotte – made their debut at the 11am Christmas Day service.
The little princess charmed royal fans by thanking and hugging a member of the public who gifted her an inflatable pink flamingo.
Princess Charlotte also greeted other fans waiting outside the church, including two nine-year-old twins who presented her with flowers.
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The third-in-line to the throne also exchanged a few words with royal fans during the walkabout.
In early December, Buckingham Palace put an end to speculation regarding who the Queen and Prince Philip may decide to spend Christmas with by announcing the elderly royals were to have a quiet Christmas by themselves.
The couple, Buckingham Palace added, would remain at Windsor Castle rather than travel to Sandringham, breaking with their three-decade-long tradition.
Prince Charles was tipped to spend Christmas Day with Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, at Highgrove but to pay a brief and socially-distanced visit to his parents later during the festive break.
However, the more stringent regulations issued over the weekend and earlier this week will make it impossible for the Prince of Wales to travel from his Gloucestershire home to Windsor, which is now in a Tier 4 area.
One royal commentator believes the Queen and Prince Philip may “feel the pain” of being under Tier 4 restrictions.
Lizzie Robinson who co-hosts the podcast Royal Rota, told ITV’s Chris Ship: “She’s being quite careful about the whole pandemic anyway.
“But she can feel our pain of being Tier 4 in any case.
“I’m sure the change has to affect at least the castle in some way.
“I suppose no more photo ops outside the grounds for now.”
Kate and Prince William, who are believed to be spending Christmas with their children at their Norfolk home, are also set to find themselves under Tier 4 restrictions.
Norfolk, which is currently a Tier 2 area, will be hit by Tier 4 regulations on Boxing Day.
The traditional royal Christmas, which sees members of the family gathering at Sandringham House on December 24, exchange presents and enjoy lavish meals alongside taking part in the Christmas Day service, has been cancelled.
However, one of the staples of the country’s winter festivities, the Queen’s Christmas broadcast, will still be broadcasted tomorrow.
The national address, which offers the Queen the rare opportunity to speak to the UK in her own words, was recorded at Windsor Castle.