Queen to miss Christmas Day church service at Sandringham due to heavy cold

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The Queen will miss the annual Christmas Day church service at Sandringham with her family as she is still recovering from a heavy cold, Buckingham Palace has said.

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh had delayed their trip to the private Sandringham estate by a day after they both became ill.

But they were well enough to travel from Buckingham Palace by helicopter to the Queen's home near King's Lynn in Norfolk on Thursday.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: "Her Majesty the Queen will not attend church at Sandringham this morning.

"The Queen continues to recover from a heavy cold and will stay indoors to assist with her recovery. Her Majesty will participate in the royal family Christmas celebrations during the day."