December 21 2014 Latest news:
Sunday, January 5, 2014
Crowds waited in the winter sunshine to greet the Queen as she attended church today.
The 87-year-old Monarch smiled and waved to well-wishers, as she arrived by Bentley for the service, wearing a matching fawn and silver coat and hat.
She was accompanied by Lady Mary Colman on the short journey from nearby Sandringham House.
The Duke of Edinburgh walked to the Church of St Mary Magdalene, on the Royal Estate at Sandringham, with a party of guests including Sir Timothy Colman.
The Queen was greeted by applause as she left the 45-minute service, which was led by the Revd Jonathan Riviere, Rector of Sandringham, with a sermon preached by the Bishop of Rochester.
She smiled but for the second week running, she did not stop to accept flowers from children in the 300-strong crowd. She was driven away by her chauffeur, with a blanket covering her knees.
After looking back for straggling members of his party and exchanging greetings with the crowd, the Duke set off briskly towards the house alone.
Earlier, police officers had warned parents and youngsters that the Queen would depart immediately after the service.
They said they could leave their flowers by the gate of the church, from where they would be collected.
Sienna Wheeler, from Cockfield, near Bury St Edmunds, waited in her wheelchair to see the Queen, with her 11-year-old sister Imogen and grand-parents David and Christine Branton.
But the eight-year-old, who is recovering from a major hip operation, said she wasn’t disappointed when she was told the Queen would not be accepting gifts after the service.
“It’s not every day you get to see the Queen, so it’s all very new and exciting,” she said.
Janet Harris, 73, from Ashwicken, had brought her grand-daughters Esme, aged seven, and Lola, aged four to see the Queen.
“They gave her flowers last year and they were thrilled,” she said. “They were hoping to do it again.”