Last Christmas was a very special one for the Cambridge family, as Prince William and Kate introduced their two eldest children to a key part of royal life – the festive church visit.
Prince George and Princess Charlotte made their Sandringham public debut when they met well-wishers after the annual religious service at St Mary Magdalene.
Holding their proud parents hands, the two adorable children smiled and waved to dedicated fans who waited for hours to see them.
Kate colour-coordinated their outfits, and they all looked very smart in dark green.
While fans around the world loved their style, it turns out that Kate really regretted her outfit choice for the day, and even told one well-wisher she “really shouldn’t have worn” it.
Kate looked gorgeous in a heavy grey Catherine Walker coat, with a green hat, bag and heels.
But during a quick chat with 19-year-old fan Rachel Anvil, she admitted it was the wrong choice for the weather.
Rachel’s mother told the Metro: “Kate was talking to my daughter about clothes and how she was feeling too hot, she said ‘I really shouldn’t have worn this’.
“I’m there talking to Charlotte about dolls and my daughter’s talking about fashion with Kate.
“It wasn’t fake it was a genuine discussion, it was about a minute but it was tailored to my daughter, it was like speaking to a friend. They are totally different with the public.”
Charlotte charmed well-wishers at the church service, chatting and smiling at her mum’s side.
She also stopped to hug Gemma Clark, who has cerebral palsy, in her wheelchair while holding a pink flamingo.
The 39-year-old had travelled from Long Sutton in Lincolnshire with her family.
She said: “It was amazing. I’ve been waiting for this day for a long time. I’ve never seen the Royal Family before.”
She gave Kate some roses and Charlotte an inflatable flamingo and said she seemed pleased with the gift.
“She said ‘Thank you’,” Ms Clark said, adding that the flamingo was called Felicity. “But Charlotte may call it whatever she likes now.”
“It was a birthday present,” she explained.
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“My sister bought me it for my birthday and I truthfully didn’t like it but we have adventures with her.”
She said George and Charlotte were “brilliant”, adding: “This is my first time at Sandringham and I would love to do it again.”
It is now unclear what the Cambridge family will be doing this year. They had hoped to spend the day with the Middletons but the introduction of the new tier system may have altered their plans.
The break from tradition comes after the Queen and Prince Philip decided to stay in Windsor for Christmas in line with Covid advice.
While households are allowed to meet, so the couple could have seen part of their family, they decided it was safer to celebrate just the two of them.
Sources say she hopes her decision will inspire others to celebrate the festive period carefully.
A Palace source said: “The Queen is acutely aware of the need for caution throughout the crisis and the Christmas period is no different.
“The Queen and The Duke are fortunate to spend Christmas with their family every year.
“They understand that their family will have competing demands over the Christmas period and are content to have a quiet festive season this year.
“Like everyone they hope things will get back to normal in 2021.”
It comes after chief medical adviser Professor Chris Whitty last week warned against physical contact with elderly relatives over Christmas.
He said: “Don’t do stupid things.
“Would I encourage someone to hug and kiss their elderly relatives? No I would not.”