LONDON — Public appearances, family feuds and damage control — it’s not the most wonderful time of the year this Christmas for the British royal family.
Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis ushered in Christmas at Sandringham, Norfolk in the East of England.
This is the Waleses’ first Christmas at Sandringham with their new titles since the death of Queen Elizabeth II, who hosted 32 Christmases at Sandringham House. The late queen canceled the 2020 and 2021 festivities due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The new Princess of Wales rewore a custom structured military green coat from Alexander McQueen featuring flap pockets. She debuted the coat in January 2020 when she visited the City Hall in Bradford’s Centenary Square.
She topped her outfit with a Philip Treacy wide-brimmed hat in the same shade as her coat, decorated with a simple bow and feather.
Like mother, like daughter — Princess Charlotte rewore the same burgundy Trotter’s coat that she wore with her family last week.
Prince William and his sons Prince George and Louis were in unison in navy blue ensembles with the youngest prince wearing shorts with knee socks.
It has become tradition for the British royal family to attend a Christmas Day service at St Mary Magdalene Church where they are then greeted by crowds outside as the group walk back to the royal residence. But ongoing feuds and controversies have turned the walkabout into a scene out of Joan Crawford’s own family Christmas of putting on a gilded front.
Sandrinham House was the backdrop of Pablo Larraín’s film “Spencer,” starring Kristen Stewart, depicting the traditions expected of senior members of the British royal family, such as being weighed upon arriving and leaving.
This Christmas is a key one for the royal family to show unity amid Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Netflix’s documentary series “Harry and Meghan.”
“They were happy to lie to protect my brother… They were never willing to tell the truth to protect us,” said the Duke of Sussex in the series, calling it “institutional gaslighting.”
On Dec. 15, to distract from recent tabloid attention on the family, Prince William and Kate put on another uniformed front at the “Royal Carols: Together at Christmas” concert at Westminster Abbey following their annual Christmas card reveal with their children.
The Christmas concert was taped and aired on Christmas Eve on British TV channel ITV with the princess of Wales leading the tributes to the late queen.
“Her Majesty held Christmas close to her heart, as a time that brought people together and reminded us of the importance of faith, friendship and family, and to show empathy and compassion,” she said in the taping.
“So, whilst Christmas will feel very different this year, we can still remember the memories and traditions we shared. Take time to slow down and celebrate with family and friends all the wonderful things that make Christmas so special,” added the royal.
Despite this period of forgiveness, it’s unlikely that the Sussexes will be forgiven just yet. The next stop on Prince Harry’s freedom flight is his tell-all memoir “Spare,” slated for release on Jan. 10.