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Prince Andrew accompanies Prince Charles as he makes Christmas Day appearance

The Duke of York stepped down from royal duties in November

Danielle Stacey

The Duke of York joined Prince Charles, the Queen and other members of the royal family for the annual church service in Sandringham on Christmas Day. Prince Andrew, 59, was pictured arriving early with his brother at St Mary Magdalene Church. Prince Edward and his daughter, Lady Louise, also followed them a short while later. Prince Andrew stepped down from royal duties in November after his BBC Newsnight interview, which focused on his relationship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

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Prince Andrew with Prince Charles on Christmas Day

Buckingham Palace released a statement from the Duke just days after the high-profile interview. Prince Andrew said: "It has become clear to me over the last few days that the circumstances relating to my former association with Jeffrey Epstein has become a major disruption to my family's work and the valuable work going on in the many organisations and charities that I am proud to support. Therefore, I have asked Her Majesty if I may step back from public duties for the foreseeable future, and she has given her permission."

GALLERY: Kate Middleton and royal family join the Queen on Christmas Day outing

He added: "I continue to unequivocally regret my ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein. His suicide has left many unanswered questions, particularly for his victims, and I deeply sympathise with everyone who has been affected and wants some form of closure. I can only hope that, in time, they will be able to rebuild their lives. Of course, I am willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required."

The Duke was not present at the reception the Queen hosted for NATO leaders earlier this month. Her Majesty was joined by other members of the royal family, including the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duchess of Cambridge and Princess Anne.

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Prince Andrew was pictured driving to the Queen's Christmas lunch

Last week Prince Andrew was spotted driving to Buckingham Palace from his home in Windsor, for the Queen's annual Christmas lunch, but he was noticeably absent from Princess Beatrice and fiancé Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi's engagement party at Chiltern Firehouse in London. Guests included the bride-to-be's mother, Sarah Ferguson, and sister Princess Eugenie, as well as Ellie Goulding, Pippa Middleton and James Blunt.

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