London: British Queen's husband Prince Philip who is still in hospital recovering from a heart ailment on Sunday missed the Royal Christmas celebrations for the first time.
   
The Royal Family attended the Christmas Day service at a church on their Sandringham estate without the 90-year-old Duke of Edinburgh.
   
Afterwards, the royals - including, for the first time, the Duchess of Cambridge, Catherine - greeted well-wishers.    

Queen Elizabeth II's husband had a coronary stent fitted on Friday after suffering chest pains.
   
The Rev Jonathan Riviere prayed for him during the service. Family members are due to visit the duke after lunch, a television channel reported.
   
"We pray for the Queen and the Royal Family, especially today we pray for Prince Philip and his continued recovery," Rev Riviere said.
   
Philip, the longest serving royal consort in British history and an outspoken pillar of the House of Windsor, was airlifted to hospital from Sandringham in eastern England on Friday suffering from chest pains.
   
Tests showed a blocked coronary artery and doctors at the Papworth hospital near Cambridge, Britain's leading cardiac centre, inserted a tube-like device called a stent to restore healthy blood flow.
   
The 85-year-old queen and her four children, including the heir to the throne Prince Charles, all visited Philip in hospital on Saturday in an unusual sign of concern from the usually stoic British royals.

Buckingham Palace said on Saturday that Philip, who is also known as the Duke of Edinburgh, was "in good spirits but he is eager to leave" hospital.
   
There was no immediate update on his condition on Sunday.
   
Palace officials refused to say whether he had had a heart attack on Friday, but Iqbal Malik, a consultant at Imperial College London, said "he probably was having a heart attack" which was successfully aborted.
   
It is also the first year that Catherine, the new wife of the queen's grandson Prince William, is joining the royals for the celebrations at the sprawling estate in rural Norfolk.
   
The royal family will reportedly have woken on Christmas morning to find stockings filled with small gifts and fruit at the foot of their beds.
   
They opened their main presents on Christmas Eve in the German tradition, reflecting the family's German origins dating back to the 19th century.

Agencies