Kate Middleton and Prince William Make Christmas Debut as the Prince and Princess of Wales


Kate Middleton and Prince William are returning to a royal family tradition this Christmas.

The couple — along with their three children, Prince George, 9, Princess Charlotte, 7, and Prince Louis, 4 — joined King Charles III, Queen Camilla and other members of the royal family in attending the holiday service at Church of St. Mary Magdalene in Norfolk. Although Prince George and Princess Charlotte made their Christmas Day debut in 2019, this marked the first time the entire family of five took part in the holiday walk to church, with Prince Louis joining in the fun.

While Kate wore a green coat with a statement, Princess Charlotte wore red for the Christmas outing. Meanwhile, the three men of the family coordinated in blue ensembles — while Prince William and Prince George sported suits with ties, Prince Louis wore a navy coat over shorts and knee socks.

Prince William, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis and Kate Middleton.
Samir Hussein/WireImage

It marked the return of the traditional royal Christmas outing after the family celebrated separately for the past two years amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The outing was also the first Christmas outing for William and Kate, both 40, as the Prince and Princess of Wales. King Charles officially gave the titles to his eldest son and daughter-in-law just one day after Queen Elizabeth II died in September.

King Charles, 74, and Queen Camilla, 75, previously announced that they would host Christmas at Sandringham, Queen Elizabeth‘s beloved country estate in Norfolk, keeping with the family’s longstanding tradition.

Prince George, Prince Louis, Kate Middleton and Princess Charlotte.
Samir Hussein/WireImage

They’ll also keep other traditions, like the Christmas Eve exchange of gag gifts. After church, the royals will gather at Sandringham for a lunch of roast turkey followed by steamed fruit pudding, before they all sit down to watch King Charles’ first Christmas address at 3 p.m.

Kate is also starting a new royal holiday tradition. On Dec. 15, she hosted her second annual Christmas carol concert at Westminster Abbey, a broadcast of which aired on Christmas Eve. The event was a family affair — Princess Kate walked in with Prince William, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, while King Charles and Queen Camilla also sat front row for the service.

Kate’s parents and sister also attended, along with many members of the royal family.

Princess Charlotte and Kate Middleton.
DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images

The Abbey Choir sang traditional carols alongside performances by guests including Craig David and Les Miserables star Samantha Barks, and a special duet from opera singer Alfie Boe and Spice Girl Melanie C. Readings were delivered by speakers including Prince William, Kristin Scott Thomas and Paddington star Hugh Bonneville.

Of course, Queen Elizabeth‘s absence will be heavily felt during the first Christmas since her death.

The former member of the Queen’s staff tells PEOPLE, “The first year is most difficult, as it is always the first of everything that you notice.”

Kate Middleton.
DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images

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Prince William first joined the royal family for their annual Christmas outing at age 5 in 1987, when they celebrated the holiday at Windsor Castle. Sporting a powder blue coat and knee socks, the future monarch waved to photographers as he walked ahead of mom Princess Diana.

Prince William in 1987.
Julian Parker/UK Press via Getty

Princess Kate made her royal Christmas debut in 2011, months after her spring wedding to Prince William.

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