Prince Andrew is joined by Fergie at royal Christmas service at Sandringham for the first time in 30 years amid claims he’s ‘tormented’ by prospect of Epstein scandal reigniting

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Written By Maya Cantina
  • It’s the first time Fergie has joined the royals for the walk in over 30 years

Prince Andrew and his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson put on a united front as the Royal Family enjoyed their annual Christmas walkabout at Sandringham today.

The Duke of York, 63, and the Duchess, 64, walked behind senior royals as crowds lined the road outside the St Mary Magdalene Church for the traditional Christmas Day service on the Norfolk estate.

King Charles was joined by Camilla, the Queen Consort, at the head of the group, while the Waleses walked just behind them alongside their three children George, 10, Charlotte, eight, and Louis, five.

It’s the first time Fergie has joined the royals for the walk in over 30 years, following the couple’s high profile divorce in 1996. 

But King Charles softened that approach last year and invited her to join the family at Sandringham for the first time in decades, though she didn’t join them for church.

Prince Andrew and his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson put on a united front as the Royal Family enjoyed their annual Christmas walkabout at Sandringham today

The Duke of York, 63, and the Duchess, 64, walked behind senior royals as crowds lined the road outside the St Mary Magdalene Church for the traditional Christmas Day service on the Norfolk estate

The Duke of York, 63, and the Duchess, 64, walked behind senior royals as crowds lined the road outside the St Mary Magdalene Church for the traditional Christmas Day service on the Norfolk estate

It's the first time Fergie has joined the royals in over 30 years, following the couple's high profile divorce in 1996

It’s the first time Fergie has joined the royals in over 30 years, following the couple’s high profile divorce in 1996 

For the second year in succession, Andrew made the walk from Sandringham to church with the other royals

For the second year in succession, Andrew made the walk from Sandringham to church with the other royals

The Duchess of York opted for a green ensemble for the special occasion

The Duchess of York opted for a green ensemble for the special occasion 

Prince Andrew with his wife at Sandringham Church on Christmas Day, 25th December 1991

Prince Andrew with his wife at Sandringham Church on Christmas Day, 25th December 1991

For the second year in succession, Andrew made the walk from Sandringham to church with the other royals – symbolic of his gradual rehabilitation within the monarchy.

But Andrew’s alleged links to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein will come under further scrutiny in the new year with the release of hundreds of files from a defamation case, after a ruling by a US judge.

He is said to be ‘totally tormented’ as he braces himself for the scandal to reignite in the New Year.

Andrew’s daughters were with their husbands, Princess Beatrice with Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi and Prince Eugenie with Jack Brooksbank.

The private Norfolk estate will once again host the traditional royal festivities, with most of the family present – except for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who are spending the day in LA with their children, Prince Louis and Princess Lilibet.

The King and Queen, along with the Princess Royal and her husband Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, waved to well-wishers while attending a Christmas Eve service at the church on Sunday.

Royal Christmases traditionally feature the greeting of people outside the church, and a family lunch with turkey and all the trimmings.

Sandringham House has been the private home of four generations of British monarchs for more than 160 years, and now belongs to the King.

Jack Brooksbank and Princess Eugenie attending the Christmas Day morning church service at St Mary Magdalene Church

Jack Brooksbank and Princess Eugenie attending the Christmas Day morning church service at St Mary Magdalene Church 

Fergie appeared in bright spirts as she collected flowers from royal fans

Fergie appeared in bright spirts as she collected flowers from royal fans

The Duchess of York waved to well wishers as she did the traditional walk

The Duchess of York waved to well wishers as she did the traditional walk

The King and Queen are to celebrate Christmas Day alongside other members of the royal family at Sandringham

The King and Queen are to celebrate Christmas Day alongside other members of the royal family at Sandringham

The Prince and Princess of Wales attend church with their children, Princess Charlotte, Prince George, who holds the hand of Mia Tindall

The Prince and Princess of Wales attend church with their children, Princess Charlotte, Prince George, who holds the hand of Mia Tindall

The Princess Royal arrives at the church for this morning's service at Sandringham

The Princess Royal arrives at the church for this morning’s service at Sandringham

King Charles was seen waving at the crowds who had gathered outside the Norfolk church to wish him and his family well this Christmas, walking alongside Queen Camilla.

The Princess of Wales smiled broadly as she walked to the church wearing an elegant blue coat and matching hat, holding her daughter Princess Charlotte’s hand.

Her younger brother Prince Louis joined the rest of his family, and held Mia Tindall’s hand as they prepared to attend the service.

On his other side, Prince William also held his son’s hand while Prince George dressed in a navy blue suit, walked alongside his sister.

The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh joined the rest of the royals on their way to the church.

Charles’s second Christmas message as monarch will be broadcast at 3pm, and this year it was recorded in the Centre Room in Buckingham Palace which leads on to the royal residence’s iconic balcony.

Meanwhile, it comes after Prince Andrew is said to be ‘totally tormented’ as he braces himself for the scandal over his links to paedophile Jeffrey Epstein to reignite in the New Year.

The Mail on Sunday has learned the Duke of York’s name will appear alongside those of scores of Epstein’s powerful friends – some of whom have not previously been publicly identified – when a tranche of court documents are published.

The documents are part of a US defamation case Andrew's accuser Virginia Roberts brought against Ghislaine Maxwell

The documents are part of a US defamation case Andrew’s accuser Virginia Roberts brought against Ghislaine Maxwell

American judge Loretta Preska last week ruled that documents relating to more than 170 people who were linked to Epstein should be made public in early January

American judge Loretta Preska last week ruled that documents relating to more than 170 people who were linked to Epstein should be made public in early January

The prospect of once again facing intense scrutiny over his friendship with Epstein is said to have plunged Andrew into deep despair ahead of Christmas.

‘Andrew’s name is in there,’ one source said. ‘He is beside himself with this latest development and everyone close to him is concerned for his mental wellbeing.

‘He is at a loss, totally tormented. He is facing his second Christmas without his mother and now the New Year is going to start with his name being dragged through the mud all over again.’

American judge Loretta Preska last week ruled that documents relating to more than 170 people who were either associates, friends or victims of multi-millionaire sex offender Epstein should be made public in early January.

The documents are part of a US defamation case Andrew’s accuser Virginia Roberts brought against Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite who supplied Epstein with underage girls, in 2015

While the case was settled out of court two years later, The Miami Herald successfully fought to get the papers made public.

The first trove of documents was released in 2019, less than 48 hours before Epstein hanged himself in a New York jail while being held on child sex trafficking charges. 

The MoS has been told that other names set to be made public in the new documents include Wall Street bankers, business leaders and big-name politicians and academics.

RoyalsSarah Ferguson, Duchess of York

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