Memories of the Royal Family's Christmas visits to Sandringham

The Royal Family leave Christmas Morning Service at Sandringham Church 2017 - Paul John Bayfield

The Queen and her family leave Christmas Morning Service at Sandringham Church in 2017 - Credit: Paul John Bayfield

The Queen is not be spending Christmas in Sandringham this year and will instead stay in Windsor, breaking her traditional trip to the Norfolk estate.

This is the second year that the Queen has cancelled her Christmas trip. The move was described as a "personal decision made after careful consideration."

Many people will have memories of visiting the St Mary Magdalene Church on Christmas Day to greet the Royal Family as they visit for the festive service.

The Church on the grounds at Sandringham, where the Royal Family will be on Christmas Day.City; Sa

Sandringham Church pictured in 2003 - Credit: Eastern Daily Press, Archant

They began spending their Christmas break in Norfolk in 1988 when Windsor Castle was being re-wired and the tradition was set to continue this year — until coronavirus intervened.

Christmas Day was often the only day in the year that the whole of the royal family could be seen together. For three decades this unique event would be broadcast to millions around the world. 

While the arrival of the Royal Family at King's Lynn station for their annual Christmas and New Year break at Sandringham also provided a tailor-made chance for the public to see them at close range.

Here is a selection of photos from the EDP archives taken during past visits.

The Queen Sandringham Christmas Day address 1957

The Queen during her first broadcast of the Christmas Day speech in 1957 - Credit: PA

Royal Family - Royal Group ShotsFor years the arrival of the Royal Family at King's Lynn stati

The Queen holds the hand of a young Prince Edward, clearly fascinated by the train as they arrive at King's Lynn train station in 1966 - Credit: Eastern Daily Press

The royal family at Sandringham church on the 29th december 1985The Queen talking to the Canon JGW

The Queen talking to the Canon JGWM Murphy and Bishop Dudley-Smith in 1985 at Sandringham Church - Credit: Archant

ROYAL FAMILYROYAL FAMILY AT SANDRINGHAM SERVICECHRISTMAS DAYDECEMBER 1988PRINT C2126NEG A2

The Queen, Princess Diana and a young Prince William at Sandringham church in 1988 - the first Christmas the Royal Famil had spent in Norfolk in modern times - Credit: Archant

ROYAL FAMILYPRINCESS DIANA VISIT TO SANDRINGHAM - CHRISTMAS DAY 1990PRINT C2128NEG CD15724-21

Princess Diana greeting the crowds on Christmas Day in 1990 - Credit: Archant

The Queen and members of the Royal Family prepare to brave the elements after the Christmas morning

The Queen and members of the Royal Family prepare to brave the elements after the Christmas morning service at Sandringham, December 1990. - Credit: Archant Library

ROYAL FAMILYPRINCESS DIANA AT SANDRINGHAM SERVICECHRISTMAS DAY 1993PRINT C2118NEG H16188-34

Princess Diana in 1993 holding a bunch of flowers alongside a young Prince Harry as crowds cheer behind - Credit: Archant

From left, the Princess Royal, the Countess of Wessex, Peter Phillips, Zara Phillips, Prince Harry ,

From left, the Princess Royal, the Countess of Wessex, Peter Phillips, Zara Phillips, Prince Harry , Prince William and the Prince of Wales after the royal family attended a Christmas Day church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk Monday December 25 2000. - Credit: PA

Britain's Prince William walks behind Prince Harry (L) and Prince Charles (R) as they arrive for th

Britain's Prince William walks behind Prince Harry (L) and Prince Charles (R) as they arrive for the Christmas morning church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk December 25, 2000. Up to 20 members of Britain's Royal Family gathered at the tiny church on the Sandringham Estate for a tradition celebration of Christmas. - Credit: PA

The Queen and other members of the Royal family at Sandringham Church for the Christmas service 2005

The Queen and other members of the Royal family at Sandringham Church for the Christmas service 2005. Receiving flowers and gifts after the service - Credit: Archant

The Princess Royal after the royal family attended a Christmas Day church service at St Mary Magdale

The Princess Royal after the royal family attended a Christmas Day church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk Monday December 25 2000. - Credit: PA

CAPTION; Photos of the Royals at Sandringham on Christmas Day 2009. Pic shows the Royals walking to

The Royals at Sandringham on Christmas Day in 2009 - Credit: Matthew Usher

The Royal Family attend Sandringham Church on Christmas Day 2013 - Prince Philip walks to church. Pi

Prince Phillip at Sandringham Church in 2013 - Credit: Matthew Usher

The Royal Family attend Sandringham Church on Christmas Day 2013 - Arm fulls of flowers. Picture: Ma

A police officer has his arms full of flowers when the Royal Family attended the Christmas Day service at Sandringham Church - Credit: Matthew Usher

The Royal Family attend Sandringham Church on Christmas Day 2013 - Prince William and the Duchess of

Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge walk hand-in-hand towards Sandringham Church on Christmas Day in 2013 - Credit: Matthew Usher

The Royal Family attend Sandringham Church on Christmas Day 2013 - Prince William and Prince Harry l

Prince William and Prince Harry leaving Sandringham Church in 2013 alongside other members of the Royal Family - Credit: Matthew Usher

The Royal Family attend Sandringham Church on Christmas Day 2013 - The Duchess of Cambridge. Picture

The Duchess of Cambridge greeting the crowds outside Sandringham Church in 2013 - Credit: Matthew Usher

Queen Elizabeth II walks along the platform at King's Lynn railway station in Norfolk, as she return

The Queen walking along King's Lynn Station's as she leaves Norfolk to head home to London after spreading the Christmas period in Sandringham in 2015 - Credit: PA

The Duke & Dutchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry & Meghan Markle wish farewell to the queen after Chri

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle after the Christmas Day service in 2017 - Credit: Paul John Bayfield


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