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William and Kate to spend Christmas with Middleton family and not the Queen

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children will spend a private Christmas with the Middleton family.

They will be with Kate's family at the Middleton home near Bucklebury in Berkshire instead of joining other members of the Royal Family at the Queen's Sandringham estate, in Norfolk.

It will be the second time the couple will have joined the Middletons for Christmas Day since they married in 2011 and the first since their children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, were born.

The last time the couple stayed away from the traditional royal gathering was in December 2012, shortly after Kate was discharged from hospital having been treated for severe morning sickness when she was pregnant with George.

In 2014, William and Kate were believed to have lunched with the Middletons before attending the Christmas Day church service with the royals.

The £4.7 million Middleton mansion has always been a haven for William and Kate, and they spent a number of weeks there within days of George, now three, being born.

A Kensington Palace spokesman declined to comment on Prince Harry's plans.

Harry has been spending the lead-up to Christmas with his girlfriend, actress Meghan Markle.

The couple watched a production of The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time at the Gielgud Theatre on Wednesday night.

And on Tuesday, the pair were seen holding hands and buying a Christmas tree in a London park.

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