King Charles leaves Windsor Castle after hosting first festive lunch

King Charles leaves Windsor Castle after hosting his first festive lunch for the wider Royal Family as monarch – ahead of spending Christmas at Sandringham

  • King Charles, 74, appeared in great spirits as he left Windsor Castle today 
  • Yesterday he hosted his first annual Christmas lunch for the wider Royal Family
  • Charles and Camilla were joined at the Berkshire residence by dozens of royals
  • Read more: Charles and Camilla will host Royal Family members at Sandringham 

King Charles looked in great spirits as he left Windsor Castle today – after yesterday hosting his first annual Christmas lunch for the wider Royal Family as monarch.

Charles, 74, and Queen Consort Camilla, 75, were joined at the Berkshire residence by dozens of royals – including the Earl and Countess of Wessex, Princess Anne and Mike and Zara Tindall.

The turkey-and-trimmings lunch has typically taken place annually at Buckingham Palace on the Wednesday before Christmas – however this year, in a break from tradition, the event took place at Windsor Castle.

Today, a beaming Charles was pictured waving as he was driven from the royal home – ahead of spending Christmas at Sandringham.

King Charles (pictured) looked in great spirits as he left Windsor Castle today – after yesterday hosting his first annual Christmas lunch for the wider Royal Family as monarch

Looking typically dapper, the monarch sported a grey suit and white check shirt, teamed with a patterned tie.

Keeping the chill away on a cold Wednesday in December, Charles opted to layer his outfit with a brown coat.

The King is set to host members of the Royal Family at Sandringham this year – in a return to the tradition for the first time in three years.

Charles and Camilla will celebrate Christmas Day at the Norfolk Estate with family members, marking a return to usual royal festivities.

Charles (pictured), 74, and Queen Consort Camilla, 75, were joined at the Berkshire residence by dozens of royals – including the Earl and Countess of Wessex, Princess Anne and Mike and Zara Tindall

The gathering at Sandringham will be the first time the Royal Family has spent Christmas at the private royal residence since 2019, and it will be a poignant period following the death of the Queen in September.

Buckingham Palace said in a brief statement: ‘Their Majesties The King and The Queen Consort accompanied by Members of the Royal Family will attend the Morning Service on Christmas Day at Sandringham Church, on Sunday 25th December 2022.’ 

It is likely Charles and Camilla will be joined by the Prince and Princess of Wales and their children, Princess Royal and her family, the Earl and Countess of Wessex and their children – but it remains to be seen if the Duke of York will make a public appearance.

Questions also remain over Harry and Meghan, who are said to be frozen out of Charles’s first Christmas dinner at Sandringham as monarch – after their Netflix series launched an unprecedented attack on the Royal Family, accusing the King of ‘lying’ and the Prince of Wales of ‘screaming’ at his brother.

The turkey-and-trimmings lunch has typically taken place annually at Buckingham Palace on the Wednesday before Christmas – however this year, in a break from tradition, the event took place at Windsor Castle. Pictured right, Charles today

Christmas at Sandringham follows a break, when, due to the Covid pandemic, the late Queen spent the festive period at Windsor Castle two years in a row – the first with the Duke of Edinburgh, separated from her wider family in lockdown.

Royal Christmases feature a morning trip to St Mary Magdalene Church, the greeting of well-wishers, and a family lunch with turkey and all the trimmings.

Yesterday’s event at Windsor Castle saw the family brought together in the largest reunion since the Queen’s funeral in September – and was the first time the traditional gathering has taken place since 2019, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Dozens of royals attended, with the Queen Consort and Earl and Countess of Wessex among the first to arrive, but notable absentees included Prince Harry and Meghan and their son Archie and daughter Lilibet, who remain in the US.

The first to arrive yesterday afternoon was King Charles himself, who travelled to Windsor in a car. He opted for a smart baby blue tie for the occasion, which he paired with a navy blue suit. 

Meanwhile the Queen Consort followed shortly afterward, and looked serene as she was driven into the castle grounds.

She was wrapped up warm in a padded navy jacket, which she paired with a blue velvet blouse beneath. 

Read more: 

  • New book reveals Queen’s stoicism in final months: Intimate portrait tells how she found comfort after Philip’s death watching Line of Duty and how she dealt with revelations about Andrew 
  • Royals rally around Kate: King Charles and Queen Consort will attend Princess of Wales’ carol service on day the second part of Harry and Meghan’s bombshell show is released 
  • ‘I’m sure there will be someone out there for Reggie’: Queen Consort appeals for a home for a ‘pensioner’ pet in special episode of Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs 

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