Prince William and Kate to miss Christmas with Queen

Prince William, Kate and Prince Harry, seen here last Christmas Day, will all be missing from this year's celebrations with the Queen at Sandringham. (Reuters)

The Queen can forget about changing the sheets in at least one room at Sandringham -- Prince William and Kate won't be coming for Christmas Day.

Instead, the royal parents-to-be will be feasting with Kate's family in Bucklebury. The decision, said St. James's Palace, has been met "with the approval of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh."

So, no hard feelings.

The Palace also said Will and Kate will spend at least some time at the Queen's winter home over the holidays.

Christmas at the Middleton home, with parents Carole and Michael and siblings Pippa and James, will certainly be a less formal affair, and less stressful for Kate, who has been coping with acute morning sickness in her third month of pregnancy.

William and Kate are not expected to make any public appearances on Christmas Day, unlike the rest of the Royal Family, who greet locals as they make their trek to and from church services.

Sources have told the Telegraph the duchess has shown "marked improvement" recently, and she has shown it with a couple of outings to the BBC Sports Personality Awards and the Queen's annual Christmas lunch at Buckingham Palace. She also joined Palace staff for a seasonal party last week.

Without Will and Kate, the Queen's Christmas guest list is still quite full with at least a few dozen immediate family. Another notable absentee, though, will be Prince Harry, who is serving with UK troops in Afghanistan.

All the Queen may be hoping for is no more surprises. Last year, her husband Prince Philip was stricken just before Christmas and had to spend four days in hospital after surgery for a blocked artery.



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Kind of sad for the Queen but, probably better for the Duchess. Less stress, less invasion of her privacy and a chance to quietly enjoy Christmas day with her husband and her immediate family. Also, should she become ill, she will be closer to medical help than she would be at the Queens rather remote estate.

Quick clarification of the diagnosis. "Acute morning sickness" is not an accurate label for Hyperemesis Gravidarum.

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