Prince William and Kate celebrate their first Christmas as a family of four

Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge received an extra-special gift this year: ringing in their first Christmas as a family of four. With their adorable son Prince George and precious baby daughter Princess Charlotte, the royals retreated to their country home in Norfolk for a traditional holiday celebration.

As they do every year, William and Kate spent the morning attending a traditional service at the nearby St Mary Magdalene Church. The couple joined the Queen and Prince Philip and other senior members of the royal family, including Prince Charles, Prince Andrew and the Duchess of Cornwall.

While royal watchers were hoping that Santa would bring a glimpse of two-year-old George and seven-month-old Charlotte on their way to church, William and Kate had decided to leave the children at home.

William held an umbrella for his wife Kate.

Last year Kate admitted to well-wishers that her little boy would have been too noisy, and that George was being looked after at home.

The Duchess was impeccably turned out as always, putting her hair up and wearing a green tapered coat with a leaf brooch, black gloves and a green fascinator, while the Queen, 89, wrapped up from the chill in a bright red coat and a matching hat with fur accents.

The royal style icon collected flowers from the crowd and stopped to chat briefly to locals who had gathered on the Queen's Sandringham Estate.

Prince Charless and Camilla joined William and Kate for the service.

After church, William and Kate headed back to their home, Anmer Hall, where they were hosting Kate's side of the family. Like any modern family at Christmas, the Cambridges divided their time between their two sets of relatives.

The couple had spent Christmas Eve with the Queen at Sandringham House where, alongside other senior royals, the family exchanged gifts before a three-course candlelit dinner.

The Queen wrapped up in a bright red coat.

As young royals do not normally join Her Majesty and her relatives for lunch on Christmas Day, it seems William and Kate preferred to spend their first Christmas as a family of four at home with their children.

The couple invited Kate's parents Carole and Michael Middleton and Kate's younger siblings James and Pippa to Anmer Hall. The Duchess called for help from her mum and sister in the lead-up to the holidays, as the pair were spotted doing some Christmas shopping at Kate's favourite shop Peter Jones in London.

William and Kate similarly spent last Christmas at home with the Middletons, where Kate organised the kind of perfect family Christmases she remembered from her childhood.

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