Queen attends Sandringham service
The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh attended church without the rest of the royal family as they began their Christmas preparations.
After arriving in Norfolk by train on Friday, the 88-year-old monarch made her way from Sandringham House to St Mary Magdalene Church in a Ranger Rover while her husband, wrapped up in a camel coat, made the short journey on foot.
There was no sign of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who are currently at their nearby home of Anmer Hall.
But they were spotted at a Christmas Show in the village of Thursford yesterday.
Some social media users said they had seen Prince George in the queue to meet Santa at the event. There is also speculation that Kate's parents are currently visiting the couple in Norfolk.
Wearing purple, the Queen did not pause to greet crowds of well-wishers who had gathered outside the church as a cold wind whipped across the estate. After the ceremony she returned to her vehicle where an aide passed her a blanket to keep warm.
In recent years she has dispensed with the tradition of collecting flowers from waiting children but two determined little girls chased after the Duke to hand over their bouquets for the Queen.
Although the Duke did not acknowledge them, an aide accepted the flowers and told them: "I will try my best."
The royals traditionally gather at Sandringham for Christmas Day and attend church before returning to the main hall for lunch.
Hundreds of members of the public are expected to gather on Thursday as the entire royal party attends the service.