The royal family gathered for its annual Christmas day church service on Sunday, including Prince William and Kate Middleton's children. It was the first time their youngest son, 4-year-old Prince Louis was able to make it to the holiday celebration, while 7-year-old Princess Charlotte and 9-year-old Prince George returned to it for the first time since 2019. Some royal admirers took this as a sign that the kids are old enough to begin attending more public events.
The Prince and Princess of Wales brought their children to their traditional church service in Sandringham on Sunday, followed by a walk outdoors with some members of the public. According to a report by PEOPLE, they then returned to the royal residence known as Sandringham House for their personal celebrations. That included a turkey holiday feast. Finally, the family gathered around the TV at 3 p.m. local time to watch King Charles III give his first-ever Christmas speech since taking the throne.
Prince William brought his children to Christmas church service for the first time in 2019 in Sandringham, but they haven't been able to attend since. In the meantime, the COVID-19 pandemic has put a stop to the holiday tradition in 2020 and 2019, so they weren't able to follow it up. Since then, Middleton gave birth to Prince Louis and the passing of Queen Elizabeth II made Prince William the Prince of Wales. That means that Prince George is the heir-apparent after his father, and until he has children of his own, his siblings come next in the line of succession.
The royal family may be taking that role more and more seriously. Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis have attended more public events than usual this year, including the late queen's Platinum Jubilee earlier this year and her funeral in September. They also made appearances at a memorial service for their grandfather Prince Philip, and they went to church services on Easter. More recently, they joined their parents on a trip to Wales.
Royal admirers are eager to see the young heirs' personalities taking shape at these kinds of events. In 2019, one churchgoer told Sky News that they were able to give a doll to Princess Charlotte as a gift at the Christmas service. They said: "She came over with her mom, she liked the doll. Her manners are outstanding – but she's cheeky, she wasn't at all scared."