It looks like the Duchess and Duke of Cambridge had a lovely first Christmas and Boxing Day since Prince George's arrival. Not only did the Queen discuss the heir's birth and christening in her annual Christmas speech, but the new parents seem to have enjoyed a healthy mix of formal tradition and relaxed celebration over the course of the festivities ...
Here, all the details on how our favorite royals spent their most joyful Christmastime yet ...
Prince William and Prince Harry kicked off the holiday quite literally, going head-to-head in a charity Christmas football match at the Queen's Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, England. While Kate chose to stay out of the cold with Prince George, Wills and Harry were cheered on by cousin Peter Phillips and his wife Autumn and their children. The event was reportedly attended by more than 100 spectators in addition to over 30 members of the royal family.
Later in the evening, the family reportedly opened their gifts, as they prefer to do on Christmas Eve, so they can focus on church services on Christmas Day.
The royals attended a private family service early in the day, and while greeting the Queen, Kate was photographed wearing a cream overcoat with a red tartan shawl.
Later in the morning, they attended a 45-minute Christmas service at St. Mary Magdalene Church, where it appeared Kate had done one of her "costume changes" into her Alexander McQueen tartan coat and Gina Foster hat. Those in attendance included Queen Elizabeth, Prince Phillip, a ginger-bearded Prince Harry, Prince Charles and Camilla, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, Prince Andrew, pregnant Zara Phillips and husband Mike Tindall, Prince Edward and wife Sophie (with their daughter, Lady Louise), and other royals. In fact, one veteran royal watcher Mary Relph, 79, who has been coming to Sandringham on Christmas Day since 1988, told the Daily Express, "I've not seen so many members of the Royal Family at church since Diana's days." Awesome!
Afterward, Kate and William held hands and chatted with the crowd for about 20 minutes. Of course, some took note of Prince George's absence. (He stayed back at the estate, likely due to the cold.) A 75-year-old woman named Cecily Howard in attendance at the church asked the Duchess, "Where's the baby?" Howard later explained to reporters, "Kate told me [George] having a lovely day, but was more interested in the wrapping paper than the presents." Meanwhile, William noted, "We've had a good morning with George and I can't wait until next year when he's bigger!" Aww! Maybe then he will accompany his parents to Christmas Day services?
Following their visit to the church, lunch was served at 1:00 p.m. (It's usually a giant turkey reared on the estate, according to GMANetwork.com.)
Then, at 3 p.m., the royals were said to have gathered to watch the Queen's Christmas Broadcast, in which she spoke of her new great-grandson and the "renewed happiness" his arrival has brought the royal family and country.
For the traditional post-Christmas Day holiday, the men reportedly had an early breakfast at Sandringham. Typically it consists of "hearty food," like salty, cured fish, sausage, mushrooms, kidneys, and black pudding, according to royal chef Darren McGrady. At the same time, the Queen's servants usually bring the women breakfast in bed.
After that, reportedly around 10 a.m., the men went out for their traditional pheasant hunt on the grounds of the 18th century estate, while Prince George and Kate played back at the house.
Around mid-day, Nanny Webb likely took over with Prince George so that, per tradition, Kate and the other women could take a mile-long walk to have lunch in Dershingham woods. McGrady tells Us:
The chefs send a trailer packed with cottage pies and beef stews.
Once the hunt was over, Kate and Wills were thought to have driven 157 miles to the Middletons' Bucklebury home to visit with Kate's parents Carole and Michael, as well as George's Aunt Pippa and Uncle James.
All in all sounds like a seriously cheery, full holiday for the new parents and their little boy!
What royal Christmas festivity sounds like the most fun to you?