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Royalty

Britain’s young royals join queen for Christmas service, but Prince Philip absent

  • Royal source insists the 97-year-old husband of Queen Elizabeth is in ‘perfectly good health’
PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 25 December, 2018, 7:50pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 25 December, 2018, 9:25pm

Britain’s Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth’s husband, skipped a traditional Christmas Day church service on Tuesday though he is in perfectly good health, a royal source said.

Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, married Elizabeth in 1947 and has been by his wife’s side throughout her reign, the longest in British history. He is 97.

“The duke is in perfectly good health, he is just spending the day privately,” the source said.

Queen Elizabeth was cheered by onlookers when she and other senior royals arrived for the church service.

The 92-year-old queen arrived by car, while younger royals walked from her grand country house in Sandringham to nearby St Mary Magdalene Church.

Prince Charles led the way, followed by his sons: Prince William and his wife Catherine and Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, who is expecting their first child in the spring.

Britain’s royals usually exchange gifts on Christmas Eve and mark Christmas day with the church service and a traditional lunch.

The queen’s pre-recorded annual message to Britain and the Commonwealth will be broadcast in the afternoon.