The Real Reason Prince Philip Skipped Christmas Church Services

Christmas is a huge deal for members of the Britsh Royal Family. Each year, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip invite their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren to their Sandrigum estate where they partake in a series of Christmas traditions and festivities. The Windsors gather around for lunches, dinners, a lavish Christmas tea, an assortment of gag gifts, some outdoorsy time and two church services. The queen is such a stickler for her royal Christmas traditions that no one dares to miss them.

Despite rumors of feuds between Prince William and Prince Harry, the British Royal family was a united front on Christmas Day 2018. However, there was one major royal family member who was missing from the clan. Here’s the real reason why Prince Phillip skipped out on Christmas church service.

Multiple church services

Traditionally, the royals attend two church services on Christmas day and they both take place within three hours of one another. Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, and their family attend a private service at 9 a.m. Afterward, they stroll through the streets of  Sandringham walking to St. Mary Magdalene for public worship at 11 a.m.

Why did Prince Philip skip church services?

When the queen arrived at St. Mary Magdalene by car (the queen does not walk), many folks were stunned to see the British monarch exiting the vehicle on her own. The Duke of Edinburgh was nowhere to be found. Though he’s had a few health scares this year, a Palace spokesperson has assured the public that the 97-year-old is doing just fine. They told The Sun, “Philip is in good health and spending the day privately.”

Though the prince officially retired from royal duties in August 2017, he’s appeared publically at several events including Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan Markle’s wedding and Princess Eugenie’s wedding to Jack Brooksbank. According to The Telegraph, The Duke now “operates on a wake-up and see how I feel basis.” Perhaps the duke simply did not feel like braving the cold, blistering air that morning.

The queen still paid homage to her husband of over 70 years by wearing a Grima Ruby Brooch he gifted to her back in 1966 during her Christmas address.

Another glaring absence

Prince Philip wasn’t the only royal absent from church service on Christmas Day. Though the younger royals aren’t typically expected to attend church until they turn five– it was Duchess Camilla Parker Bowles, Prince Charles’ wife whose absence was also alarming.

Unfortunately, the Duchess of Cornwall has been feeling ill and is still recovering from a rather nasty cold. The duchess wasn’t even able to attend the Queen’s Christmas lunch at Buckingham Palace last week. With a pregnant daughter-in-law and her lively grandchildren, we can see why the duchess chose to hang back this year. Other than that it looks like the royals had a great Christmas.

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