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Last Updated: Sunday, 25 December 2005, 17:20 GMT
Camilla joins Sandringham service
Prince Charles and Camilla
The duchess wore a blue coat designed by Roy Allen
The Duchess of Cornwall has joined the Royal Family on their traditional Christmas Day church outing at Sandringham for the first time.

The duchess, Prince Charles and other senior royals walked the short distance to St Mary Magdalene Church. The Queen arrived separately by car.

Rector Jonathan Riviere mentioned the Duchess of Cornwall by name as he said prayers for the Royal Family.

He also prayed for the victims of the Asian tsunami and 7 July bombings.

The Queen's Christmas Day speech focused on the natural disasters and terrorist acts which dominated 2005.

Public reception

The royals appeared to be greeted by a greater public turnout than in recent years as they arrived at the church.

The duchess and Prince Charles were joined by royals including the Duke of Edinburgh and Princes William and Harry.

Queen Elizabeth
The Queen met the public after the Sandringham service

Other royals attending the service included the Princess Royal and her husband Rear Admiral Timothy Laurence, the Duke of York and his daughter Princess Eugenie and the Earl of Wessex.

The Queen arrived separately for the service by car with the Countess of Wessex and 17-year-old Princess Beatrice.

The duchess will not be included in state prayers at Church of England churches, after the Queen decided they should not be changed following her son's marriage.

However, it is up to local churches themselves whether or not they decide to mention her.

Two prayers are traditionally read at Sunday services, the first for the Queen and the second for the rest of her family.

The latter read: "Almighty God, the fountain of all goodness, we humbly beseech thee to bless Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Charles, Prince of Wales, and all the Royal Family."

Diana, Princess of Wales, was included after marrying Charles, but her name was removed after their divorce.


Camilla also joined the rest of the royals for Christmas Eve, when they traditionally open their presents.

And after having Christmas lunch with the rest of the royals, she was to spend the rest of the day with her children Tom and Laura Parker Bowles.

In her Christmas broadcast, the Queen praised the response by people of all faiths to the tragedies.

"This last year has reminded us that we live in a world which is not easy or safe, but it is the only place we have," she said.

The Queen's Christmas message, recorded in the Chapel at Buckingham Palace, was shown at 1500 GMT.

See the Royals arrive at church

In pictures: Charles and Camilla
05 Nov 05 |  In Pictures

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