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British royal family brighten up a rainy Christmas morning

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It was one of the rainiest Christmas mornings since the Queen began spending the festive season at Sandringham in 1988. However, the inclement weather didn't dampen the spirits of the royal family or the hundreds of well-wishers who turned out to see them arrive at church.

Leading the royal guests, the Queen arrived by car at St Mary Magdalene Church with her stylish granddaughters Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice, both dressed in elegant knee-length jackets and stiletto-heeled shoes. Taking shelter under an umbrella, the monarch smiled happily at the crowd, who had spent the morning singing carols while they waited in the rain.

Other members of the family came on foot, including Prince Charles and his wife the Duchess of Cornwall, who teamed a striking purple jacket with a black top hat. Charles' sons Princes William and Harry were on duty with their army regiment, the Blues and Royals, and missed the 11am service.

The Countess of Wessex was also absent, wisely staying indoors with her eight-day-old son James. Her husband Prince Edward was at church, however, and told well-wishers that his wife was recovering well after giving birth by caesarean.

After the 45-minute service, the Queen collected bouquets from children waiting outside the church. As the party made to leave, the 81-year-old monarch spotted Beatrice about to walk back to Sandringham House without an umbrella. She called her back and insisted the 19-year-old take her brolly, as she was travelling back by car.

Photo: ©
The British monarch happily braved the rain on Christmas morning to attend the morning service at the royal family's local church near their Sandringham residence Photo: © PAClick on photos for gallery
Photo: ©
Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice led the style stakes in knee-length jackets and stiletto heelsPhoto: © Rex

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