Andrew makes rare appearance with Royal Family to attend service

King Charles arrives for first Sandringham Christmas service

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Prince Andrew has arrived at the annual Christmas Day service at Sandringham Church, alongside other members of the Royal Family. The engagement marks his brother, King Charles’s continuation of royal tradition as members of the family attend the morning service together each year.

It was previously unknown whether Prince Andrew would attend the Christmas service as the Duke of York has been notably absent from key royal occasions since being stripped of his honorary titles.

Ahead of the church service, an announcement from Buckingham Palace confirmed: “Their Majesties The King and The Queen Consort accompanied by members of the Royal Family will attend the morning service on Christmas Day at Sandringham Church, on Sunday 25 December 2022.”

Prince Andrew arrived at the church alongside his two daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.

The Duke of York was/wasn’t accompanied by his former wife, Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, who will be spending Christmas in Norfolk.

This year’s festive period will mark the first Christmas since the death of Queen Elizabeth II in September.

Prince Andrew was last seen at the late monarch’s state funeral, as he was joined by his three siblings, among other family members, for the poignant service honouring their mother.

During the official mourning period for the Queen, the return of Prince Andrew to the public sphere received a mixed reception.

As he walked behind his mother’s coffin in Edinburgh, Prince Andrew was heckled by a select few among the crowd that lined the streets to St Giles’ Cathedral.

The Duke of York was called a “sick old man” as the hecklers made reference to allegations of historical sexual assault levelled against him by Virginia Giuffre. Prince Andrew has staunchly denied the accusations.

On other occasions, Prince Andrew has been distinctly absent from key royal engagements.

He did not attend the late Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June after Buckingham Palace reported he had tested positive for Coronavirus.

However, he was present at the Thanksgiving Service in honour of the late Prince Philip, his father.

He was seen helping the Queen walk through Westminster Abbey and was seated in the front row, amongst other senior members of the Royal Family.

Ahead of the Christmas celebrations, royal expert Jennie Bond told OK! Magazine there was a “question mark” over whether Prince Andrew would be attending the royal festivities.

She explained: “Christmas is always such a difficult time for families, as people are pulled in all directions, so I don’t know if Andrew and Fergie [Sarah, Duchess of York] would suddenly be invited.”

The Monday before Christmas Day, the King and Queen Consort hosted their extended family at Windsor Castle for a lavish festive lunch.

Both Princess Anne and Prince Edward attended, but Prince Andrew was not spotted amongst the cars of Royal Family members arriving at the castle. 

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