Charles supports shamed brother Andrew
Scandal-hit Prince Andrew was supported by his older brother today at Sandringham as he made his first public appearance since his disastrous BBC interview.
The Queen was also seen arriving for the service.
It was a festive event as the Queen was joined for the first time by Prince George, 6, and Princess Charlotte, 4, the two eldest children of Prince William and his wife, Kate. They left one-year-old Prince Louis at home.
George and Charlotte walked to church hand-in-hand with their parents. Prince Charles, their grandfather, walked next to them.
The Queen arrived in a Bentley with Charles' wife, Camilla. Her elderly husband, Prince Philip, stayed at home. He was discharged from a hospital Tuesday after treatment for an undisclosed ailment. Philip, 98, has retired from public duties.
Prince Andrew, who has stepped down from royal duties because of his association with a convicted sex offender, attended the earlier church service with his brother Charles at his side.
Prince Harry, his wife, Meghan, and their seven-month-old son, Archie, did not attend. They are spending the holiday in Canada with Meghan's mother, Doria Ragland.
All eyes were on Andrew early on, who faced a public backlash after 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.
Following the calamitous interview, the Duke was stripped of his royal duties and £249,000 sovereign grant.
Meanwhile Prince Philip was discharged from hospital yesterday following a four-night at the King Edward VII's hospital.
The 98-year-old was treated as a precaution for a "pre-existing condition".
The prince then travelled by helicopter to Sandringham to join the rest of the royal family for Christmas.
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.
Elsewhere the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge released a new photograph showing the duke kissing his youngest son, Louis, alongside Prince George and Princess Charlotte.
The picture was posted by Kensington Palace on Twitter with the message: "Merry Christmas to all our followers!"
This story first appeared in The Sun and is reproduced here with permission.
- with wires