Kate Middleton celebrates Christmas with Royal family


Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, accepts flowers from members of the crowd as she leaves Sandringham Church after the traditional Christmas Day service on December 25, 2011, in King's Lynn, England.


Chris Jackson

Kate Middleton, now known as the Duchess of Cambridge, spent her first Christmas at church with Queen Elizabeth, her husband, the Duke of Cambridge, and much of the Royal family.

A crowd of about 3,000 people lined up to watch Kate and William walk to and from the 16th century St. Mary Magdalene Church with their family on Sunday, PEOPLE reported.

They attended church with Prince Charles, Prince Harry, and William's cousins Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, it stated. Also attending were rugby player Mike Tindall and the Queen's granddaughter Zara Phillips.

Members of the family then ate a traditional lunch and visited Queen Elizabeth's husband, Prince Philip, at the hospital. The Duke, 90, is spending his third night in the hospital after receiving treatment for a blocked coronary artery, the Press Association reported. He is staying at Papworth Hospital near Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire.

Their Christmas cheer would have been a welcome distraction for the Duke who is thought to have missed his first Christmas morning service at Sandringham, an annual tradition for the royal family since the early 1990s.

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A family spokesman said the Duke is in "good spirits."

Meanwhile, Pope Benedict XVI gave his traditional Christmas Eve Mass at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome Saturday night. He lamented the commercialization of the holiday.