Why Prince George and Princess Charlotte didn't attend Christmas Day service this year

Alyssa Bailey
Photo credit: Anwar Hussein - Getty Images

From Harper's BAZAAR

On Christmas Day, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended church service in Sandringham, the royal family's annual tradition.

Missing from the action were all three of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's children: Prince Louis (understandably because he's an infant), Princess Charlotte and Prince George.

George and Charlotte have been photographed with their parents at Christmas service before though, two years ago when they were in Bucklebury, Berkshire, spending the holidays with Kate's family.

Photo credit: Samir Hussein - Getty Images
Photo credit: Stephen Pond - Getty Images

George is five now, while Charlotte is three - and their ages have everything to do with why they haven't ever been out for the royal family's Christmas service in Sandringham.

Traditionally, children don't attend service with the family until they're a little older. Prince Harry's first photographed appearance at Christmas day service was when he was seven:

Photo credit: Martin Keene - PA Images - Getty Images

William, meanwhile, was five, but there doesn't seem to be a hard rule about what age children start attending. Kate and William may have decided now to delay George's first service for another year or until Charlotte is ready to join too:

Photo credit: Princess Diana Archive - Getty Images

George, Charlotte, and Louis have all been part of other royal Christmas events though. They were photographed en route to the Queen's pre-Christmas lunch at Buckingham Palace with their parents last week.

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Photo credit: Joe Giddens - PA Images - Getty Images
Photo credit: Joe Giddens - PA Images - Getty Images

The three are staying with their parents now at Anmer Hall on the Queen's Sandringham estate. And the kids already opened their presents last night: the royal family follows the German tradition and does gift opening on Christmas Eve.

Charlotte and George were genuinely excited for the festive season as far back as the end of November. Kate spoke then during an appearance in Leicester about how eager her kids were.

"They’re getting excited for Christmas time because they’ve started all their Christmas songs and Christmas trees are going up," she said. "It was really sweet."

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