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Charles and Camilla release new picture to celebrate Christmas

The royal family are spending the festive period at their respective residences this year instead of gathering at Sandringham.

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The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall have released an image to celebrate Christmas. Clarence House

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall have released an image to celebrate Christmas. Clarence House

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall have released an image to celebrate Christmas. Clarence House

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall have released a photograph to mark the festive period as the royal family celebrate Christmas apart.

Charles and Camilla are shown walking sticks in hand at their Scottish retreat of Birkhall during the autumn.

The couple are casually dressed in country clothes in the new photograph taken by a member of staff.

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Charles and Camilla, pictured in a garden at Birkhall, will spend Christmas at their Gloucestershire home (The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall/Clarence House/PA)

Charles and Camilla, pictured in a garden at Birkhall, will spend Christmas at their Gloucestershire home (The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall/Clarence House/PA)

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Charles and Camilla, pictured in a garden at Birkhall, will spend Christmas at their Gloucestershire home (The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall/Clarence House/PA)

The heir to the throne and his wife are keen walkers and the countryside around their Aberdeenshire home offers them lots of opportunities to get out and about.

The royal family are spending the festive period at their respective residences this year instead of gathering at Sandringham after the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh decided to have a quiet Christmas at Windsor Castle.

The head of state and Philip normally host their large family in Norfolk over the holidays and are watched by hundreds as they attend church on Christmas Day.

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The Queen and Philip are spending Christmas at Windsor Castle (Chris Jackson/Buckingham Palace/PA)

The Queen and Philip are spending Christmas at Windsor Castle (Chris Jackson/Buckingham Palace/PA)

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The Queen and Philip are spending Christmas at Windsor Castle (Chris Jackson/Buckingham Palace/PA)

However, in a reflection of the Christmas celebration choices made by families across the country, the couple announced at the start of December they would remain at Windsor.

The Queen is expected to attend a private Christmas Day service in a chapel within Windsor Castle and not join the congregation at her local place of worship, to avoid large crowds of well-wishers gathering.

The Royal Family Twitter account, which has 4.3 million followers, wished the Queen’s cousin Princess Alexandra, who was 84 on Christmas Day, a very happy birthday.

It also tweeted a video of the St George’s Chapel choir singing in the Chapel, which is in the grounds of Windsor Castle, adding: “Wishing all our followers a very Merry Christmas!”

Charles and his wife are spending Christmas Day at Highgrove in Gloucestershire while the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their family are in Norfolk at their home of Anmer Hall.

William and Kate tweeted pictures of people working through the festive season, and said: “This Christmas our thoughts are with those of you who are spending today alone, those of you who are mourning the loss of a loved one, and those of you on the frontline who are still mustering the energy to put your own lives on hold to look after the rest of us.”

They added: “Wishing a merry Christmas doesn’t feel right this year, so instead we’re wishing for a better 2021. For those struggling today, there is support available.”

Increasing coronavirus infection rates that have led to many counties in the south-east and east of the country being moved to higher tiers and greater restrictions, have meant the royals will remain at their homes.

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