Well-wishers braved the cold and the rain to greet the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh, as they attended the Sunday service at Sandringham yesterday.

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As they left the Church of St Mary Magdalene on the Royal estate after the 45-minute service, the 100-strong crowd outside included two visitors from Grenoble, in France, who are staying at nearby Dersingham to improve their English.

“I wanted to see her because it’s a great instution, she’s very respected,” said engineer Bruno Aimone, 42. “This is nice weather for England – it’s very damp.”

Colleague and fellow engineer Marine Jaconelli, 25, also from Grenoble, said: “It’s very wet, cold and wet. I would really like to see Prince Harry but he’s not here.”

The visitors, who both work for vehicle maker Caterpillar, were brought to Sandringham by Joanna Diksa, a Norfolk ex-pat who runs a training company in France.

“They’re here to improve their English, so we try to give them the authentic experience,” she explained.

First in the queue of children waiting to greet the Queen outside the church was Layla Ali, 10, from March, who presented her with a 1953 coronation glass which belonged to her great-grandmother.

“I said this is a glass from 1953, your coronation,” said Burrowmoor Primary School pupil Layla. “She went: ‘Ooh, very nice’.”

Layla’s brother Shaheen, 12, gave the Queen flowers.

“She said: ‘Red roses – are they for me..?” he said.

Betsey Fleetwood, six, from King’s Lynn, also presented flowers to the Queen.

“She’s very excited, she’s made the Queen some flowers and a card,” said Betsey’s mum, Sarah Bessey.

The Queen and Prince Philip, who traditionally spend Christmas, January and part of February at Sandringham House, are expected to return to London later this week.

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