- (Reuters/Lefteris Pitarakis)
- (Reuters/Dylan Martinez)
- (Photo: Reuters/Roy Letkey)
Kate Middleton spent her first Christmas as a member of the royal family Sunday morning, attending two Christmas masses at the St. Mary Magdalene Church at Sandringham, the Queen’s private Norfolk estate.
The Duchess of Cambridge accompanied her husband, Prince William, along with many other members of the royal family to attend a private 9 a.m. service. They then returned for an 11 a.m. service, at which Middleton greeted roughly 3,000 well-wishers upon leaving the service.
Middleton’s recent addition to the Royal Family caused a far larger crowd turnout than previous years. Many media outlets noted that this is the first time large crowds have turned out to see the royal family since Princess Diana, thus further pointing to the similarities between the two female icons.
Middleton wore a mulled wine-colored coat by an unnamed British designer, and a hat of the same color by designer Jane Corbett to the 11 a.m. service. She dressed far more casually to the private 9 a.m. service, wearing boots and a coat as she and Princess Beatrice chatted while walking briskly to the church.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were joined by Princess Beatrice, Prince Harry, Prince Charles, his wife Camilla, Prince Andrew and Princess Eugenie.
After the 11 a.m. mass, the Royal Family visited the ailing Queen’s husband, Prince Philip, in the Papworth Hospital near Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire.
The Duke of Edinburgh, 90, spent his Christmas in the hospital after undergoing a heart surgery for a blocked artery.
“The Duke is in good spirits and will remain in hospital under observation for a short period,” said a Buckingham Palace spokesman.
"The Queen will continue to be briefed on his condition. We do not have details of a release date at this stage,” they added.