royals gather at Sandringham for Christmas Eve service

  • Royals including Prince Harry and Meghan Markle arrived at St. Mary Magdalene Church for Dec 24th service
  • Hundreds gathered to catch glimpse of loved-up pair as they enjoy their first Christmas as an engaged couple
  • Security around the Sandringham estate was extra-tight, with police frisking members of the public

By Jo Tweedy For Mailonline

Published: 06:31 EST, 24 December 2017 | Updated: 06:47 EST, 24 December 2017

Prince Philip, 96, led the way this morning as the royal family arrived at St. Mary Magdalene Church for a special Christmas Eve service.

The Duke of Edinburgh, with Prince Andrew by his side, looked in good spirits as he strode past a small army of police officers at the royal estate.

Closely behind them was Princess Anne, clad in an ankle-skimming coat in a very festive red, who arrived with her husband Sir Timothy Laurence

Dressed for the Norfolk chill, Prince Edward kept the cold away by putting his hands in his pockets, while his daughter Lady Louise Windsor, 14, gripped her hands together as she strode along pruposefully next to her father.

Princess Eugenie and Beatrice were also both in attendance, with Eugenie, 27, looking chic in a steel-grey coat and heels with a matching head-piece.

Prince Philip, wearing a warm brown wool coat arrives for the church service at St. Mary Magdalene Church on the royal Sandringham estate this morning. Prince Andrew walked closely beside his father as they made their way to the traditional service

Prince Philip, wearing a warm brown wool coat arrives for the church service at St. Mary Magdalene Church on the royal Sandringham estate this morning. Prince Andrew walked closely beside his father as they made their way to the traditional service

Princess Eugenie, 27 looked chic in a steel-grey coat and heels with a matching head-piecePrincess Eugenie, 27 looked chic in a steel-grey coat and heels with a matching head-piece

Princess Eugenie, 27 looked chic in a steel-grey coat and heels with a matching head-piece

Merry Christmas! The royals, including Princess Beatrice, smiled at well-wishers gathered amid tight security at the royal estate this morningMerry Christmas! The royals, including Princess Beatrice, smiled at well-wishers gathered amid tight security at the royal estate this morning

Merry Christmas! The royals, including Princess Beatrice, smiled at well-wishers gathered amid tight security at the royal estate this morning

The stylish 29-year-old royal opted for a burgundy woolen coat and matching sandals with a platform heelThe stylish 29-year-old royal opted for a burgundy woolen coat and matching sandals with a platform heel

The stylish 29-year-old royal opted for a burgundy woolen coat and matching sandals with a platform heel

Well, it is Christmas! Princess Anne opts for a very festive red coat and hat, keeping out the Norfolk chill with the ankle-skimming designWell, it is Christmas! Princess Anne opts for a very festive red coat and hat, keeping out the Norfolk chill with the ankle-skimming design

Well, it is Christmas! Princess Anne opts for a very festive red coat and hat, keeping out the Norfolk chill with the ankle-skimming design

Meanwhile, her older sister, Beatrice, 29, also opted for a seasonal colour, wearing a plum-coloured knee length coat with platform-heeled sandals.

While the festive cheer may be in full swing, security was still exceptionally tight at St. Mary Magdalene Church.

A line of police officers were seen giving full body checks to members of the public in the grounds of the royal Sandringham estate.

Hundreds of well-wishers joined the throng outside the church this morning with expectations raised this year by a possible glimpse of Meghan Markle.

It was confirmed by Kensington Palace earlier this month that Meghan would join the royal family on Christmas day

A Kensington Palace spokesman said: 'You can expect to see the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry and Ms Markle at Sandringham on Christmas Day.'

Christmas at Sandringham is likely to be the first of many for the American, who will wed Harry on May 19th in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle.

Prince Edward kept the chill away by putting his hands in his pockets, while his daughter Lady Louise Windsor gripped her hands together as she strode along pruposefullyPrince Edward kept the chill away by putting his hands in his pockets, while his daughter Lady Louise Windsor gripped her hands together as she strode along pruposefully

Prince Edward kept the chill away by putting his hands in his pockets, while his daughter Lady Louise Windsor gripped her hands together as she strode along pruposefully

Tight security: Members of the public are searched by police officers as they arrive at St. Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk, to see members of the royal family attend morning church serviceTight security: Members of the public are searched by police officers as they arrive at St. Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk, to see members of the royal family attend morning church service

Tight security: Members of the public are searched by police officers as they arrive at St. Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk, to see members of the royal family attend morning church service

A small army of police officers were at the Sandringham estate this morning ahead of the royal arrivals; a female officer raises a smile as she chats with one of the many people gathered to catch a glimpse of the family as they arrive for churchA small army of police officers were at the Sandringham estate this morning ahead of the royal arrivals; a female officer raises a smile as she chats with one of the many people gathered to catch a glimpse of the family as they arrive for church

A small army of police officers were at the Sandringham estate this morning ahead of the royal arrivals; a female officer raises a smile as she chats with one of the many people gathered to catch a glimpse of the family as they arrive for church

Original Article

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