Princess Anne and Camilla’s awkward moment at Christmas


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This festive period has been a little different for the Royal Family this year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The Queen cancelled the traditional Sandringham gathering, opting to stay at Windsor Castle and have a smaller celebration in light of growing cases of the Omicron variant. Her Majesty paid tribute to her late husband in her Christmas broadcast this year as she endured her first festive season without Prince Philip, who died in April.

In a deeply personal message, she said: “Christmas can be hard for those who have lost loved ones. This year especially I can understand why.”

Meanwhile, Princess Anne was in isolation over the break due to testing positive for Covid.

Last year, too, the Sandringham Christmas was cancelled as the country was thrown into another lockdown just before the big day.

The last normal Christmas for both the Royal Family and the rest of the country was 2019.

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Princess Anne and Camilla wearing matching purple outfits

Princess Anne and Camilla wearing matching purple outfits (Image: GETTY)

Royal Family on Christmas Day 2019

Royal Family on Christmas Day 2019 (Image: GETTY)

The royals followed all their usual Christmas traditions that year, including the 11am service at St Mary’s Magdalene Church near Sandringham House on Christmas Day morning.

All the senior royals attend this, including Anne and Camilla, who had an awkward moment as they arrived at the church.

Members of the Royal Family generally adhere to a strict dress code for church visits, but the two sisters-in-law managed to wear the exact same shade of purple.

Both had long purple dress coats and similarly shaped formal purple hats in what was an unfortunate coincidence.

The Queen and her senior royals in December 2020

The Queen and her senior royals in December 2020 (Image: GETTY)

They even appeared to be wearing the same pair of long black boots.

Royal women are usually advised as to what colour the Queen will be wearing in order to avoid a clash, but it seems they failed to communicate with each other on this occasion.

The two royals were pictured meeting outside the church and seemed to take the situation in good humour.

Anne looked Camilla up and down and appeared to laugh.

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Prince Charles and Camilla attending Christmas Day church service

Prince Charles and Camilla attending Christmas Day church service this year (Image: GETTY)

It is perhaps not surprising that both opted for a colour with such historic links to royalty.

Purple dye was once only affordable for the elite.

It is also customary for royals to wear block colours like the Queen, so their dresses, coats, hats and bags all match.

While the fashion gaffe caused a little laughter, it was the younger royals who stole the show in 2019, as Prince George and Princess Charlotte attended the Christmas church service for the first time.

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The children met with several fans and, when the Queen drove off at the end, Charlotte could be seen curtsying after a demonstration from her mother Kate, Duchess of Cambridge.

The Queen herself looked very festive in bright red as she headed to the church, a colour she also wore for her Christmas broadcast this year.

In her speech last week, the Queen said: “Life, of course, consists of final partings as well as first meetings; and as much as I and my family miss [Prince Philip], I know he would want us to enjoy Christmas.

“While Covid again means we can’t celebrate quite as we may have wished, we can still enjoy the many happy traditions.

The Queen's Christmas broadcast

The Queen’s Christmas broadcast this year paid tribute to Prince Philip (Image: GETTY)

“Be it the singing of carols (as long as the tune is well-known); decorating the tree; giving and receiving presents; or watching a favourite film where we already know the ending, it’s not a surprise that families so often treasure their Christmas routines.

“We see our own children and their families embrace the roles, traditions and values that mean so much to us, as these are passed from one generation to the next, sometimes being updated for changing times.

“I see it in my own family and it is a source of great happiness.”

The Queen went on to praise the late Duke of Edinburgh for his pioneering work in environmental causes and also paid tribute to her son Prince Charles and grandson Prince William for continuing this work.

It is with the passing of the Queen’s husband, that there has been a greater emphasis on what she called “passing on the baton”, with the top seven senior royals taking more prominent roles in assisting Her Majesty.

These royals are Charles and Camilla, William and his wife Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, as well as Anne, Prince Edward and his wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex.


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