Catherine and William take George and Charlotte to church on Christmas Day

The young royals were on their best behaviour. Awww! The cute kids were seen nibbling on candy canes when they left the church later in the morning.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (right), Prince George, Princess Charlotte followed by Carole, James and Michael Middleton arrive to attend the morning Christmas Day service at St Mark's Church in Englefield, Berkshire.

It came as a surprise to many that, in this special year the Queen reached her magnificent 90-year milestone and Prince Philip turned 95, two of their great-grandchildren Prince George, aged three, and Princess Charlotte, 18 months, will not be with them.

Photos captured Princess Kate carrying her three-year-old daughter while Prince George stood sucking on a candy cane while his father spoke to the local priest.

With most of the royals in attendance, one of notably absent - the Queen.

"Her Majesty The Queen will not attend church at Sandringham this morning", the palace said.

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For the first time in living memory, Her Majesty stayed away from the service due to her ongoing recovery from a heavy cold.

Typically the entire royal family attends church at St Mary Magdalene near Queen Elizabeth's Sandringham estate and William and Kate's country home, Anmer Hall, in Norfolk, the BBC reported.

However, there were plenty of other royals there with Prince Harry stopping to greet well-wishers who had waited in the cold for a glimpse of the royals. Meanwhile, Prince William opted for a long, navy jacket for his walk into the church and rocked an appropriately-colored red tie.

Little George and Charlotte were no doubt spoilt with plenty of wonderful presents yesterday with Kate revealing last week that she already had a very special teddy bear for each of them under the tree.

The British royal Christmas was extra sweet this year.

  • Desiree Holland