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Queen presents honour while recuperating from cold at Sandringham

The Queen has presented a trusted member of staff with an honour as she continues to recuperate from a heavy cold at Sandringham.

The court circular - the daily diary of royal engagements - recorded that the monarch invested Ray Wheaton, the Queen's Page of the Chambers, with the insignia of a Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order.

Known as an LVO, the honour is in the Queen's personal gift and bestowed independently of 10 Downing Street. It recognises service to the Royal Family and household.

The monarch, who missed church on Christmas Day and New Year's Day, is said to be up and about and dealing with her red boxes of official papers.

Earlier she sent a message of condolence to the President of Turkey, following the attack in Istanbul on New Year's Day, saying she and Philip were saddened and that their thoughts were with the families of the victims and with the Turkish people.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh both fell ill with colds in the run-up to Christmas, forcing them to delay their trip to the Norfolk estate by a day.

While Philip went to the Christmas Day service at St Mary Magdalene Church at Sandringham, the Queen stayed indoors. A week later, she also missed the New Year's Day service.

Buckingham Palace said at the time that the Queen was still suffering the effects of the cold and had decided not to attend the service with other members of the Royal Family.

After the festive period, the monarch usually stays in Sandringham until after the anniversary of her accession to the throne - also the anniversary of the death of her father George VI.

This year on February 6, it will be her 65th - or blue sapphire - anniversary as Queen.

Mr Wheaton, who is soon to retire, has worked for the Royal Household for more than 30 years.

As Page of the Chambers, he has been responsible for the preparation of the state rooms and for stage-managing the ceremonial functions, such as audiences, receptions and investitures.

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