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Adorable Charlotte hugs crowds at first Sandringham service after walking hand-in-hand with parents William and Kate

ADORABLE Princess Charlotte hugged well-wishers at her first Sandringham service after walking hand-in-hand to the church with her proud parents.

Four-year-old Charlotte and older brother George, six, joined the Queen at the Royal Family's traditional Christmas Day church service for the first time.

Charlotte hugs a member of the public as she spreads some festive joy
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Credit: Reuters Charlotte hugs a member of the public as she spreads some festive joy Credit: Reuters
Charlotte, clutching a pink flamingo, hugs a well wisher
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Credit: PA:Press Association Charlotte, clutching a pink flamingo, hugs a well wisher Credit: PA: Press Association
Prince George, along with Prince William, was also seen greeting the public
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Credit: AP:Associated Press Prince George, along with Prince William, was also seen greeting the public Credit: AP: Associated Press
Charlotte was greeted by well-wishers in Sandringham
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Credit: PA:Press Association Charlotte was greeted by well-wishers in Sandringham Credit: PA: Press Association
Princess Charlotte is handed a Christmas gift from a well-wisher
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Credit: Goff Photos Princess Charlotte is handed a Christmas gift from a well-wisher Credit: Goff Photos
This was the gift given to Princess Charlotte by the well-wisher
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This was the gift given to Princess Charlotte by the well-wisher
Princess Charlotte with her mum Kate outside St Mary Magdalene's church
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Credit: Reuters Princess Charlotte with her mum Kate outside St Mary Magdalene's church Credit: Reuters
The little royal did a mini fist pump
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Credit: Stephen Daniels The little royal did a mini fist pump Credit: Stephen Daniels
George, aged six, and four-year-old Charlotte, walked hand in hand with their parents
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Credit: PA:Press Association George, aged six, and four-year-old Charlotte, walked hand in hand with their parents Credit: PA: Press Association

One-year-old Prince Louis stayed at the house.

After the service at St Mary Magdalene Church, Princess Charlotte was spotted mingling with members of the public and spreading some festive joy while clutching an inflatable pink flamingo.

Charlotte, who was accompanied by mum Kate, was also handed a gift box by a well-wisher.

Gemma Clark, 39, who had travelled from Long Sutton in Lincolnshire with her family, gave Charlotte the inflatable flamingo and said she seemed pleased with the gift.

"She said 'Thank you'," said Ms Clark, who was in a wheelchair.

The flamingo was called Felicity, Ms Clark said, adding: "But Charlotte may call it whatever she likes now."

She said: "It was a birthday present. 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".

"It made my day," she added. "I've never seen the royal family, ever.

"This is my first time at Sandringham and I would love to do it again."

Another well-wisher presented Charlotte with a home-made doll.

George and Charlotte attended Sandringham for the first time
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Credit: News Group Newspapers Ltd George and Charlotte attended Sandringham for the first time Credit: News Group Newspapers Ltd
George and Charlotte made their first appearance at the traditional Christmas Day church service
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Credit: PA:Press Association George and Charlotte made their first appearance at the traditional Christmas Day church service Credit: PA: Press Association
Prince William and Prince George make their way to the church for the Royal Family's Christmas Day service
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Credit: Getty Images - Getty Prince William and Prince George make their way to the church for the Royal Family's Christmas Day service Credit: Getty Images-Getty
George and younger sister Charlotte walked the short distance from Sandringham House to St Mary Magdalene Church hand in hand with their parents the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
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Credit: Reuters George and younger sister Charlotte walked the short distance from Sandringham House to St Mary Magdalene Church hand in hand with their parents the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Credit: Reuters
Six-year-old Prince George pictured outside the church on a beautiful Christmas Day morning
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Credit: AFP or licensors Six-year-old Prince George pictured outside the church on a beautiful Christmas Day morning Credit: AFP or licensors

It comes after Prince William and Kate released a new photograph showing the duke kissing his youngest son, Louis, alongside George and Charlotte .

The picture was posted by Kensington Palace on Twitter with the message: "Merry Christmas to all our followers!"

The 93-year-old Queen, wearing a red coat and hat, attended the service with the Duchess of Cornwall. The Duke of Edinburgh, 98, who was discharged from hospital on Christmas Eve, was at Sandringham but did not attend church.

He had spent four nights at the King Edward VII Hospital in London to receive treatment for a "pre-existing condition".

Philip, who retired from public duties in 2017, did not attend last year's church service either despite being in good health at the time.

George made his first appearance at the Christmas Day church service in Sandringham, in Norfolk
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Credit: AFP or licensors George made his first appearance at the Christmas Day church service in Sandringham, in Norfolk Credit: AFP or licensors
Princess Charlotte and Kate leave the church hand in hand
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Credit: Reuters Princess Charlotte and Kate leave the church hand in hand Credit: Reuters
The Duchess of Cambridge, with her four-year-old daughter, chat to the crowds gathered outside the church
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Credit: PA:Press Association The Duchess of Cambridge, with her four-year-old daughter, chat to the crowds gathered outside the church Credit: PA: Press Association
Kate holds her daughter's hand, as she clutched a bouquet of flowers
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Credit: Goff Photos Kate holds her daughter's hand, as she clutched a bouquet of flowers Credit: Goff Photos
The Queen arrives at church for the annual Christmas Day service
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Credit: Reuters The Queen arrives at church for the annual Christmas Day service Credit: Reuters
The Queen attended the service without her husband after he was discharged from hospital yesterday
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Credit: News Group Newspapers Ltd The Queen attended the service without her husband after he was discharged from hospital yesterday Credit: News Group Newspapers Ltd
The Queen walked unaided down the church steps after the service and left in her chauffeured car
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Credit: Getty - Contributor The Queen walked unaided down the church steps after the service and left in her chauffeured car Credit: Getty-Contributor

Meanwhile scandal-hit Prince Andrew, who has had tumultuous end to the year after his disastrous appearance on the BBC's Newsnight programme, walked side by side with Charles to a service at 9am but did not attend the main 11am service.

It was Andrew's first public appearance since his car crash Newsnight interview where he failed to express any sympathy for the victims of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

Andrew said he did not regret having been a friend of Epstein, who killed himself in jail aged 66 while awaiting trial for sex trafficking.

The Duke was also ridiculed over his repeated denials of any sexual relationship with then 17-year-old Virginia Roberts.

He claimed he had taken his daughter Princess Beatrice to a Pizza Express in Woking on the night he is accused of sleeping with Roberts, a "sex slave" of Epstein.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were also absent this year, instead opting to spend seven-month-old Archie's first Christmas with the Duchess's mother, Doria Ragland, in Canada.

Others attending the main morning service included Princess Beatrice and her fiance, Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi.

Prince George held dad William's hand on the way to the church
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Credit: PA:Press Association Prince George held dad William's hand on the way to the church Credit: PA: Press Association
The royals mingle outside the church following today's service
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Credit: Reuters The royals mingle outside the church following today's service Credit: Reuters
The royals congregate outside the church on the Sandringham estate
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Credit: Reuters The royals congregate outside the church on the Sandringham estate Credit: Reuters
The Duchess of Cambridge speaks to son George and daughter Charlotte
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Credit: Reuters The Duchess of Cambridge speaks to son George and daughter Charlotte Credit: Reuters
Prince Andrew attended the church service with his brother Charles in a show of solidarity
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Credit: PA:Press Association Prince Andrew attended the church service with his brother Charles in a show of solidarity Credit: PA: Press Association
The scandal-hit royal was supported by his brother Charles
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Credit: PA:Press Association The scandal-hit royal was supported by his brother Charles Credit: PA: Press Association
The Queen arriving at the church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham
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Credit: PA:Press Association The Queen arriving at the church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham Credit: PA: Press Association

In her Christmas Day TV message the Queen will refer to her family's "bumpy" 2019 and the nation's Brexit divisions.

The year has been labelled her second "annus horribilis"-the Latin phrase she used to describe 1992 after the marriages of three of her children collapsed.

This time, son Prince Andrew, 59, has been mired in the scandal of his friendship with US paedo Epstein and claims he slept with a teen sex slave.

Husband Prince Philip, who was admitted to hospital after the speech was recorded, was involved in a car accident at the start of the year.

The duke faced criticism for taking too long to contact the occupants of the other car and for being seen driving without his seat-belt in the days that followed.

And the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have spoken about their struggles living in the public eye.

Brexit has divided the country and Parliament, leading to huge uncertainty.

Her Majesty's comment is thought to be her first public reference to the personal events her family has experienced this year.

Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, Sophie, Countess of Wessex, Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn, made their way to church
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Credit: PA:Press Association Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, Sophie, Countess of Wessex, Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn, made their way to church Credit: PA: Press Association
Princess Beatrice, who got engaged this year, was also in attendance
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Credit: Reuters Princess Beatrice, who got engaged this year, was also in attendance Credit: Reuters
Princess Anne and the Duchess of Cornwall catch up outside the church
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Credit: Getty Images - Getty Princess Anne and the Duchess of Cornwall catch up outside the church Credit: Getty Images-Getty
The Earl of Wessex and daughter Lady Louise Windsor arriving for the service
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Credit: PA:Press Association The Earl of Wessex and daughter Lady Louise Windsor arriving for the service Credit: PA: Press Association
Members of the general public queue up to view the arrival of royals this morning
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Credit: AP:Associated Press Members of the general public queue up to view the arrival of royals this morning Credit: AP: Associated Press
Prince Philip (pictured on Christmas Eve) was treated at hospital as a precaution for a 'pre-existing condition'
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Credit: Reuters Prince Philip (pictured on Christmas Eve) was treated at hospital as a precaution for a 'pre-existing condition' Credit: Reuters
The Queen will refer to her family ’s 'bumpy' 2019 and the nation ’s Brexit divisions in her Christmas Day TV message
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Credit: Getty - Pool The Queen will refer to her family's 'bumpy' 2019 and the nation's Brexit divisions in her Christmas Day TV message Credit: Getty-Pool
The intimate family photo was taken by the Duchess of Cambridge
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Credit: PA:Press Association The intimate family photo was taken by the Duchess of Cambridge Credit: PA: Press Association

Message is clear

CHRISTMAS is all about family — and the Queen knows it.

But she also knows the PR value behind the nation's interest in a royal Christmas.

That is why she approved the appearance of George and Charlotte on their first festive outing at the Sandringham church service yesterday.

But despite Charles accompanying Andrew to the earlier service, it is clear there is still no room, publicly, for the tainted Duke. And what of Harry and Meghan in Canada?

Their Sandringham snub is widely seen as another misstep, even by fellow royals.

Yesterday, the Queen made very clear what her vision of the future family is. Whether that includes Harry and Meghan remains to be seen.

Queen's Christmas message-Her Majesty describes 2019 as 'quite bumpy' in annual speech