William and Catherine take the children to church

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Prince William and Kate arrive at the church with their children Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

The royal family made a few changes to tradition this year, as the Queen stayed home to recover from a "heavy cold".

Meanwhile, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge took Prince George and Princess Charlotte to church in Berkshire where they were spending Christmas day with Catherine's family, The Middletons.

This is the second time William and Kate have spent Christmas with the Middleton family.

For the first time, Prince George and Princess Charlotte attended church on Christmas Day.

Prince George socks
Prince George wears long socks and Papouelli’s “Barney” loafers. REX Shutterstock

This royal appearance coincides with Prince Charles, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Harry and Prince Philip's participation in the Christmas service near the Queen's Sandringham estate. The queen, who was suffering from a bad cold, used her annual pre-recorded Christmas Day message to praise British Olympic and Paralympic athletes and others who inspired her during her annual speech.

They were joined by Kate's parents Carole and Michael Middleton, while Pippa Middleton attended with fiancé James Matthews as well as brother James Middleton.

Royal sources said that trend would continue in 2017 as they help to lighten the workload for the Queen, who will be 91 in April, and the Duke of Edinburgh, who will be 96 in June.

"I often draw strength from meeting ordinary people doing extraordinary things: volunteers, carers, community organizers and good neighbors; unsung heroes whose quiet dedication makes them special".

Christmas was also tinged with sadness for the royal family.