By DAVID BLACKMORE
Sunday, January 27, 2013
Winston Churchill’s grandson was amongst the guests to attend a church service at Sandringham with the Queen today.
Nicholas Soames, Mid Sussex MP, joined Prince Philip in walking from Sandringham House to St Mary Magdalene Church for the service, which was also attended by Sir Timothy and Lady Mary Colman.
The group walking to the church were greeted by some 120 well-wishers, who lined the route leading to the church on the Royal Estate.
The small crowd then turned their attention to catching a glimpse of the reigning monarch who arrived by car just before 11am wearing a duck egg blue dress coat and matching hat.
For American John Bauman, the sight of the Queen arriving at church brought a huge smile to his face and he waved vigorously as she pulled up outside the church.
The Tampa Bay resident is currently on holiday in Norfolk and is staying with Fakenham resident Maggie Fleming and could not resist travelling to Sandringham to see the Queen.
He said: “I am so excited right now. There was a lot of frenzy in the US with the Diamond Jubilee and the Royal Wedding.
“In fact I would say the Diamond Jubilee overpowered the Olympics in the US because there is so much love for the Queen and the Royal family.”
Mrs Fleming added: “I met John on a cruise two years ago and the first thing he asked me was if I had met the Queen or had tea at her house.
“He was so excited to come here and see the Queen and this is the first time I’ve come to see the Queen go to church too.”
Britain’s second-longest reigning monarch appeared in good spirits following the 45-minute service, which was led by the Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham, the Rt Rev Paul Butler.
She smiled and waved to the crowd and collected flowers from 20 children.
Among the children presenting the Queen with flowers was five-year-old Maddison Hanlon, from Spalding, who donned a halo and showed off her fairy wand – much to the Queen’s delight.
Her father Mark said: “We came here two weeks ago and Maddison didn’t want to go up to meet the Queen.
“Afterwards she was a bit disappointed and asked if we could come back so we did and this time she decided she wanted to wear a halo.”
The Queen then made her way back by car to her Norfolk retreat where she presented a ten-year-old schoolgirl with a special prize.
Abigail Simms was invited to Sandringham House with her mum Samantha to be presented with a Bible signed by the monarch.
She won the Queen’s Bible Award through her school Flitcham Primary School, which is a stone’s throw away from the Royal residence, after impressing the Rector of Sandringham, the Reverend Jonathan Riviere with her model of the Bible story Storm on the Lake.
The Hillington resident said: “I was a bit nervous when we came here but also really excited.”
Referring to Sandringham House, she continued: “It was fabulous. It was really big and it was just an once-in-a-lifetime experience for me.
“The Queen seemed really happy and I enjoyed talking to her and I think she enjoyed talking to me too.
“We talked about where I lived, what my hobbies were and about my model of the storm on the lake.”
Her mum added: “It was fabulous for both of us. We were invited to attend the church service this morning and everyone has been so kind to us.
“The Queen was on good form and was lovely to both of us, very chatty and relaxed.”
Meanwhile Headteacher Angela Eden said: “We asked the students to create something which related to a story in the bible.
“We know the Queen likes to talk about it with her guests before going to church.
“The Rev Jonathan Riviere chose Abigail’s model as the winner because of the amount of work he could see she put into it.”