Crowds greet the Queen in Norfolk on eve of historic anniversary

The Queen arrives for morning service at West Newton Church. Picture: Ian Burt

The Queen arrives for morning service at West Newton Church. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

Elizabeth II makes history tomorrow when she becomes the first British monarch to reach their Sapphire Jubilee.

The Queen arrives for morning service at West Newton Church. Picture: Ian Burt

The Queen arrives for morning service at West Newton Church. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

This morning well wishers waited in the fog to greet her at West Newton Church, on the Sandringham Estate.

She arrived with the Duke of Edinburgh just before the start of the 11am Sunday service.

Wearing a matching turquoise coat and hat, the Queen was met by the Rector of Sandringham, Canon Jonathan Riviere.

The Queen spoke to members of the 200-strong crowd, who gave her cards and presents after the service.

The Queen was greeted by well wishers after morning service at West Newton Church. Picture: Ian Burt

The Queen was greeted by well wishers after morning service at West Newton Church. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt


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Veteran Royal watcher Mary Relph said: 'It's been lovely having you here Your Majesty, as she handed the Queen two red roses.

The Queen replied she would shortly be returning to London.

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Afterwards, Mrs Relph, 83, from Shouldham, added; 'I think she's done marvellous.' Fellow Royal fan Alan Mowton from Fosdyke, Lincs, was another who had travelled to see the Queen on the even of the 65th anniversary of her accession.

'It's a remarkable achievement, 65 years will probably never be repeated,' he said. 'She's served us well in that time.'

Dawn Smith, 53, from Newmarket, said: 'She's amazing, she really is amazing. She never falters.'

After the service, three-year-old Jessica Atfield, who dressed specially for the occasion in a Union flag skirt, was delighted when she got to hand over a bunch of flowers to the Queen.

The Queen then presented prizes to 22 children from the Sandringham Group Sunday School, who had performed the play Jonah and the Whale during the church service.

On the anniversary of the day she became Queen, she will have reigned for 65 years. But there are no grand festivities planned to mark the head-of-state's new milestone.

Buckingham Palace said she planned to spend the day in private at Sandringham.

In 2015, when she thanked the nation for its kind messages after overtaking Queen Victoria to become the longest-reigning monarch in British history, she said the royal record was 'not one to which I have ever aspired'.

She added: 'Inevitably, a long life can pass by many milestones. My own is no exception.'

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