As the royal family gathered for their annual Christmas Eve church service, there was one notable absence — Prince Harry and his fiancee Meghan Markle.
Among those in attendance at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham were Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip, Prince Edward, and Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie.
According to the Daily Mail, the service included traditional Christmas carols such as O Little Town of Bethlehem, Away in a Manger and Hark the Herald Angels Sing.
Some members of the crowd were disappointed there was no sign of the newly engaged couple — Prince Harry and US actress Meghan Markle.
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The pair, however, will spend Christmas with Queen Elizabeth II and other members of the British royal family at the monarch's Sandringham estate in eastern England.
Harry's brother, Prince William, and his family will also join the Queen at Sandringham in Norfolk, the royal family said.
The royal party, including Harry and Meghan, is expected to observe the annual custom of attending a Christmas Day morning service on the estate at the 16th-century St Mary Magdalene Church.
The royals exchange presents at teatime on Christmas Eve, according to the royal family, and the tradition of Christmas Day feasting typically features sausages for breakfast, turkey for lunch, and a boar's head for dinner, according to Darren McGrady, a royal chef for 15 years in the 1980s and 1990s. Harry, 33, and Meghan, 36, announced their plan to marry in late November after months of speculation.
The couple, who plan to marry in May in a chapel at Windsor Castle, published specially commissioned photographs to celebrate their engagement a few days before Christmas.
- with AAP