By Chris Bishop
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Thousands of well-wishers hoping for a glimpse of the pregnant Kate Middleton and Prince William on Christmas Day could be disappointed, it emerged last night.
Palace officials said they could not confirm whether or not the couple would be joining other members of the Royal Family for their Christmas break at Sandringham.
There has been speculation that the Duchess of Cambridge, who last year joined her husband and senior Royals in Norfolk, wishes to spend this Christmas with her parents Michael and Carole Middleton at their home in Berkshire.
Elsewhere, it has been suggested that the Prince may be rostered for duties over the festive break at RAF Valley, in North Wales, where as Flt Lieut William Wales he flies an RAF search and rescue helicopter.
Last night, Buckingham Palace said it would not be confirming which members of the Royal Family would be spending Christmas in Norfolk until “about a week before-hand”.
Last year, more than 3,000 turned out to see them attend Christmas day service, at Sandringham Church.
Royal watchers believed the attendance of Prince William and his new bride had attracted the biggest crowd seen in years to the Royal Estate.
Among them was avid supporter Mary Relph, from Shouldham Thorpe near Downham Market, who said the Royal couple would be missed this year if they did not attend.
“It would be disappointing,” she said. “Everyone looks forward to them coming. Hundreds and hundreds of people went to see them last year.
“I still plan to attend every weekend.”
Mrs Relph, 78, added: “I feel for Kate, bless her.”
After the Christmas day service, members of the Royal Family traditionally greet well-wishers outside the church, before they set off back to Sandringham House for their dinner.
Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, the Princess Royal, Duke of York and Earl and Countess of Wessex are expected to arrive in Norfolk on Christmas Eve.
The Queen normally arrives a few days earlier to supervise final arrangements for Chrismas Day, in recent years catching a train from London to King’s Lynn.