The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh spend Christmas Day at Windsor Castle

The royal family, in common with so many other families across the nation, were separated by tiers and restrictions on Christmas Day.

The Queen, 94, and Duke of Edinburgh, 99, spent the day privately at Windsor Castle, where they have been shielding throughout the lockdowns during the coronavirus pandemic.

It was the first time in more than 30 years that the monarch was not with her family on the Sandringham estate in Norfolk, where the royals traditionally walk to St Mary Magdalene church on Christmas morning, and meet members of the public waiting outside for a glimpse.

This year the Queen, a Christian and supreme governor of the Church of England, was understood to be attending a private Christmas Day service at a chapel inside Windsor Castle to avoid large crowds of well-wishers gathering.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, were spending the festive season at Anmer Hall, their Norfolk home, with their three children, Prince George, seven, Princess Charlotte, five, and Prince Louis , two.

The couple tweeted pictures of people working throughout the festive season, including social care workers looking after the vulnerable and volunteers feeding the needy.

In an accompanying thank you message, they wrote: “ This Christmas our thoughts are with those of you who are spending today alone, those of you who are mourning the loss of a loved one, and those of you on the frontline who are still mustering the energy to put you own lives on hold to look after the rest of us.”

William and Kate added: “Wishing a merry Christmas doesn’t feel right this year, so instead we’re wishing for a better 2021. For those struggling today, there is support available.”They hashtagged a number of mental health charities that are open on 25 December for those needing support, including Mind, Samaritans and Calm (Campaign Against Living Miserably).

The duke, who had contracted Covid-19 in April but did not make it public at the time, and duchess, have previously stressed how it was more important than ever for frontline workers to receive mental health support.

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall were at Highgrove, their Gloucestershire home. The couple released a photograph of themselves with walking sticks in hand at their Scottish retreat of Birkhall which was taken during the autumn.

Charles and Camilla, who were dressed casually, are said to be keen walkers around the countryside near their Aberdeenshire home.


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