John Rainford/

Buckingham Palace explains Prince Philip’s absence from Christmas church service

The Duchess of Cornwall was also absent

Prince Philip was notably absent from the Christmas Day church service at St Mary Magdalene Church on the Sandringham estate this morning.

But Buckingham Palace has assured all is well with the 97-year-old royal.

He is, apparently in good health and simply decided he wanted to spend the day privately with his family.

A royal correspondent for Mail Online reported: “The Duke of Edinburgh, 97, is not at church today.

“There is no cause for concern and no illness. He’s retired from public life and will be spending the day privately with his family.”

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall visit Ely Market.
Camilla is still feeling under the weather (Credit: Wenn)

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The Duchess of Cornwall was also absent today, having also missed the Buckingham Palace Christmas lunch last week, due to a heavy cold.

The young royals were all smiles as they approached church earlier.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge looked relaxed as they walked alongside the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who linked arms.

Duchess of Cambridge
All smiles ahead of Sandringham! (Credit: Shutterstock)

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The united front comes in the midst of unsubstantiated reports of a rift within the foursome.

Rumours began to swirl after it was announced the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were moving out of Kensington Palace to live in Frogmore House in Windsor.

There were suggestions the Cambridges would spend Christmas Day with the Middleton family in Berkshire, while Harry and Meghan would spend it with the Queen at Sandringham in Norfolk.

Earlier this month, Kensington Palace confirmed the two couples would be celebrating the day together, however.

The Queen arrived at today’s service by car with her son, Prince Andrew.

More on this story as we have it.