Kate Middleton and her husband Britain's Prince William are opting to spend Christmas with her family.
In a break with the tradition of joining Queen Elizabeth at her country estate at Sandringham, the young royals — who are expecting their first child — will take Wills to the home of her parents, Carole and Michael Middleton, in the village of Bucklebury, about 50 miles west of London.
The Associated Press quoted a St James's Palace spokesman as saying:
"The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will spend Christmas Day privately with the Middleton family."
The reasoning given, according to the Daily Mail, is that a Royal engagement would prove much more stressful for the Duchess, who is still recovering from a bout of severe morning sickness.
The 30-year-old, who married the second-in-line to the throne in April 2011, spent four days in hospital this month with an acute form of morning sickness.
According to Reuters, the couple's decision was reportedly approved by the Queen, and the couple were expected to visit Sandringham, in eastern England, for part of the Christmas holiday.
However, Christmas at home could prove just as stressful, mainly owing to Michael Middleton's love dressing up for the occasion.
''He buys a new costume each year and typically gets a bit carried away. A couple of Christmases ago, he appeared in an inflatable sumo outfit,'' Pippa Middleton told the British media this year.
He will reportedly help serve junior soldiers Christmas dinner.