Royals Prince Charles and Camilla Attend Christmas Day Church Service as They Visit the Queen at Windsor Charles and Camilla are joining the Queen for Christmas at Windsor Castle after the larger royal family gathering was canceled amid COVID surge By Erin Hill Erin Hill Twitter Senior News Editor, PEOPLE People Editorial Guidelines Published on December 25, 2021 11:09 AM Share Tweet Pin Email Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall . Photo: Jonathan Brady/WPA Pool/Getty Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall stepped out on Christmas morning to attend a church service at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. They were joined by Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex and their two children, and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester. Queen Elizabeth, who is spending Christmas at Windsor, chose not to attend the service amid a surge in COVID-19 cases. Her annual Christmas speech was broadcast later in the day. "Although it's a time of great happiness and good cheer for many, Christmas can be hard for those who have lost loved ones. This year, especially, I understand why," she said in her speech on Saturday, which comes eight months after the death of the Duke of Edinburgh at the age of 99. But the monarch, 95, won't be spending the holiday alone. Charles and Camilla have joined the Queen for Christmas at the castle. The holiday season is particularly poignant for the Queen this season as it comes just eight months after the death of her beloved husband Prince Philip. Queen Elizabeth Chooses Photo of Prince Philip for Christmas Speech and Wears a Touching Tribute Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall attend church service at Windsor Castle on Dec. 25. Jonathan Brady/WPA Pool/Getty Like millions of others, the Queen had to rethink her holiday arrangements and opted to not head to her Sandringham estate in Norfolk, where she normally stays from late December to just after February 6 (the date she became queen at the death of her father George VI nearly 70 years ago). With the Omicron coronavirus variant causing a huge rise in cases, she decided to stay at Windsor Castle for the second year in a row. It means that nearly all of the royal family's festive traditions will also not take place this year. Prince William, Kate Middleton and their three children — Prince George, 8, Princess Charlotte, 6, and Prince Louis, 3 — are ringing in the holiday at their country home, Anmer Hall, in Norfolk. Members of the Middleton family are expected to join them at their spacious 10-bedroom home. The family attended the Christmas church service at St. Mary Magdalene Church on the Queen's Sandringham estate on Saturday. Sophie, Countess of Wessex and Prince Edward. Jonathan Brady/WPA Pool/Getty Normally, members of the royal family join the Queen at Sandringham, with guests typically arriving in the early afternoon on Christmas Eve. The royals then open their presents on Christmas Eve, and on Christmas Day the family famously walks to a service at St. Mary's Magdalene Church on the estate. After their outing, the royal family normally heads back to Sandringham House for a lunch of Norfolk turkey and other festivities. Can't get enough of PEOPLE's Royals coverage? Sign up for our free Royals newsletter to get the latest updates on Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and more! According to a royal source, the Queen's decision to cancel these traditions and remain at Windsor was taken after "careful consideration." It also signals an ongoing "precautionary approach," the source added.