How generations of well-wishers have greeted the Queen and members of the Royal Family outside Sandringham church on Christmas Day

Sandringham - 25.12.92

Sandringham - 25.12.92 - Credit: DW

It's a quaint scene which has been repeated every December outside the tiny Church of St Mary Magdalene, on the Sandringham estate, for generations.

The Queen and Queen Mother on their way to Sandringham Church for morning service yesterday

The Queen and Queen Mother on their way to Sandringham Church for morning service yesterday - Credit: Archant library

The late Queen Mother always had a smile for our photographers as they braved the cold for a picture of her arriving.

She would also stop to speak to many in the crowd, some of whom would have been queueing from the early hours on December 25 to be certain of a good vantage point.

Royals at Sandringham - 25.12.91

Royals at Sandringham - 25.12.91 - Credit: J.H

The young Princes William and Harry were also popular with the crowds, smiling as they walked back to Sandringham House after the morning service.

Their mother the late Diana, Princess of Wales, grew up a stone's throw from Sandringham church at Park House, formerly the home of the Spencer family which is now a hotel for disabled people.

Royals at Sandringham - 26.12.93

Royals at Sandringham - 26.12.93 - Credit: JH


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Today, the Royals still stroll along the same path, exchanging greetings with well-wishers lining the route. But not all will be there this year.

Prince William, the Duchess of Cambridge and their children Prince George and Princess Charlotte are expected to spend Christmas with the Duchess's parents, in Berkshire.

Sandringham - 25.12.92

Sandringham - 25.12.92 - Credit: BW

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Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke of York and his daughters princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, the Princess Royal and Earl of Wessex, along with their families are all expected to join the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh for Christmas.

The Queen and Duke are expected to travel to Norfolk from London later this week.

royal visitors to the Woman's Institute- the Queen, Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother and Princess M

royal visitors to the Woman's Institute- the Queen, Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother and Princess Margret pose outside West Newton parish hall where they were welcomed by the vice presidents of Sandringham WI, Mrs Harriet Benstead and Mrs Doris Parsons - 25.01.77 - Credit: Jh Lynn

Arriving before the rest of her family, the Monarch will oversee preparations including Christmas decorations and selecting a tree from her own Royal sawmills near the house to form the centrepiece for the big day.

Like many other traditions we enjoy at Christmas, the decorated tree was first popularised by the Royal Family.

The duke and duchess of York leave West Newton church yesterday after morning service

The duke and duchess of York leave West Newton church yesterday after morning service - Credit: BW KL

The Queen and memebers of the Royal Family prepared to brave the elements after morning service yest

The Queen and memebers of the Royal Family prepared to brave the elements after morning service yesterday - Credit: Archant library

The Queen Mother leads the way, followed by the Queen and Princess Margret on the unscheduled walk b

The Queen Mother leads the way, followed by the Queen and Princess Margret on the unscheduled walk back to Sandringham House following morning service - 04.08.85 - Credit: Jh Lynn

The Queen and the Queen Mother leaving by car to return to Sandringham House yesterday after the ser

The Queen and the Queen Mother leaving by car to return to Sandringham House yesterday after the service at the parish church - 06.01.91 - Credit: B.W

Royals at Sandringham

Royals at Sandringham - Credit: Archant library

Royals at Sandringham - 12.1998

Royals at Sandringham - 12.1998 - Credit: Archant Library

The Queen Mother leaving Sandringham Church - 25.12.94

The Queen Mother leaving Sandringham Church - 25.12.94 - Credit: B Waite

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