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Queen Elizabeth, family attend Christmas service

Thu., Dec. 26, 2013

Britain’s royal family turned out in force Wednesday for a traditional Christmas church service, but the littlest prince was nowhere in sight.

Four generations gathered this year at Queen Elizabeth II’s sprawling Sandringham estate in Norfolk.

Wearing an orange coat and black fur hat, Elizabeth arrived for the service at St. Mary Magdelene Church on the estate, accompanied by her granddaughter Zara Phillips, who is currently pregnant with her first child.

Many of the well-wishers gathered near the church had hoped to catch a glimpse of Prince George, the newest member of the royal family.

While the young prince was nowhere to be seen, his parents – Prince William and his wife, Kate – arrived at the church holding hands.

“We’ve had a good morning with George and I can’t wait until next year when he’s bigger,” William told the crowd following the service.

After missing last year, Prince Harry also was in attendance.

The queen paid tribute to family and milestones later in her traditional, pre-recorded Christmas message, urging reflection.

“With so many distractions, it is easy to forget to pause and take stock,” she said in the message, which was recorded earlier this month in a blue drawing room at Buckingham Palace.

The queen has made a pre-recorded Christmas broadcast on radio since 1952 and on television since 1957. She writes the messages herself, and the broadcasts mark a rare occasion on which the queen voices her own opinion without government consultation.

The birthday bunch

Actor Caroll Spinney (Big Bird on TV’s “Sesame Street”) is 80. Rhythm-and-blues singer Abdul “Duke” Fakir (The Four Tops) is 78. Country musician Bob Carpenter (The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band) is 67. Humorist David Sedaris is 57. Rock musician Lars Ulrich (Metallica) is 50. Actor-singer Jared Leto is 42. Rock singer Chris Daughtry is 34. Actress Beth Behrs is 28. Actor Kit Harington (TV: “Game of Thrones”) is 27.


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