Queen will be 'sorely missed' as Royal Family end 'turbulent' year with Sandringham return

A leading royal commentator has said that the Queen will be "sorely missed" as the Royal Family spend their first Christmas together since her death.

In keeping with tradition, King Charles III has decided to host the traditional gathering at the Sandringham estate in West Norfolk - just as his mother did on 32 occasions.

It will be the first time the family have headed to Sandringham in three years because of the Covid pandemic.

King Charles will celebrate Christmas Day with Camilla, the Queen Consort, as well as other members of the monarchy.

"There's no doubt that the Queen will be sorely be missed," Richard Fitzwilliams told ITV News Anglia.

"There's also no doubt that there is a business as usual sense about it, which in a turbulent time for them, both before and subsequently, is I think, very, very important."

The Royal Family on Christmas Day at Sandringham in 2016. Credit: PA

Unlike previous years, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will not be present following their decision to move to the USA and the continued fallout from their explosive Netflix docuseries.

Those members of the family who are present at Sandringham will attend the traditional Christmas morning service at St Mary Magdalene Church, before sitting down to watch the King's first address to the nation in the afternoon.

King Charles recorded the speech on December 13 at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle - the place where his mother was buried only three months ago.

He is expected to pay tribute to the late Queen during the address.

The Queen recorded her first festive message in 1957 and delivered 69 Christmas speeches in total, only missing one.

"This will be the King's first Christmas message which he's already recorded, and the family will be watching that," said ITV's Royal Editor Chris Ship.

"It will be very familiar but also so very different."

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