28 DECEMBER 2005

Click here to send this news item to a friend Christmas Day bloomed bright and early for the Duchess of Cornwall, who was greeted by thousands of flower-bearing well-wishers when she attended the morning church service at Sandringham along with the rest of the Royal Family. Prince Charles' wife of eight months, smartly dressed in blue with an enormous flower adorning her hat, needed help carrying the many bouquets presented to her. Surrounded by a full turnout of senior royals, including her stepsons Wills and Harry, the smiling Duchess was clearly enjoying her first Christmas within the fold of her new family.

And with all eyes on Camilla's fashion choices recently, the sartorial stakes for the traditional outing seemed to have been raised higher than ever. The Queen opted for an unusual and flattering shade of pale beige, while the Countess of Wessex was radiant in a chic pink coat topped off with one of her trademark asymmetrical hats.

Also sporting hats were Prince Andrew's daughters, the princesses Beatrice and Eugenie. Their divorced mother, Sarah Ferguson, who usually stays on the Sandringham estate but is excluded from the main royal celebrations, is spending this festive season in the United States.

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The beaming Duchess was clearly enjoying her first Christmas within the fold of the Royal FamilyPhoto: © AFPClick on photos for gallery
Photo: ©
The always-elegant Countess of Wessex had opted for a warm shade of pink topped off with one of her trademark hatsPhoto: © Empics
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