Kate apologized to well wishers, some of whom arrived at 5 a.m. to catch a glimpse of the nearly six-month pregnant Duchess.
"I'm sorry we didn't bring George but you would have heard him inside the church," she said, her bump barely visible under a long, brown tweed Moloh coat.
William told those gathered outside it was a bit cold and that they'd see what kind of destruction "noisy" George caused when they returned home.
The family hasn't said what Prince George received for Christmas other than a wooden toy train set from his parents. The couple was believed to have bought the train when they brought Prince George to a Christmas fair near their home several days earlier and waited in line like every other family to introduce their son to Santa and his reindeer.
Kate's family did not accompany the royal family on the walk to church but were welcomed for the festivities. In another departure from tradition, Kate and William didn't attend the turkey dinner after church at the queen's home but instead hosted her family at Anmer Hall.
It was a very Middleton Christmas indeed, another sign that Kate and William intend to make sure Kate's family maintains a prominent role in their life. They royal couple frequently spends time in Bucklebury, where her parents live, and her family was the first to show up at the hospital after Prince George's birth and was there to celebrate his christening and first birthday.
The royal family typically opens presents on Christmas Eve. On Christmas Day, church is followed by the royal family lunch and then everyone watches the queen's Christmas message together.
The theme of this year's message was reconciliation.
“Sometimes it seems that reconciliation stands little chance in the face of war and discord," said Queen Elizabeth. "But, as the Christmas truce a century ago reminds us, peace and goodwill have lasting power in the hearts of men and women."
On Friday, Prince William and Kate take part in the traditional Boxing Day shoot led by Prince Philip.