In Pictures: Queen catches train to King’s Lynn to prepare Sandringham House for Royal Family’s Christmas celebrations

The Queen arrives at King's Lynn station for her Christmas break at Sandringham, with her is station

The Queen arrives at King's Lynn station for her Christmas break at Sandringham, with her is station manager Graeme Pratt. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

You know that Christmas is just around the corner when the Queen catches the train to Norfolk.

Today the 88-year-old monarch joined passengers on board the 10.45 from London King's Cross.

She is believed to have bought £53.60 first class single tickets for the 1hr 40min journey.

There was a buzz of excitement at Lynn station before the Queen's train arrived at 12:23.

Some of the passengers on board the Great Northern Thameslink service were surprised to find themselves sharing a scheduled train with the Queen.

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As word speedily got round that the Queen had just stepped off the train, passengers stopped in their tracks, where delighted voices could be heard saying: 'Oh look - It's the Queen!'

One passenger said: 'I did not know she was on the train until I got off and saw her walking beside me. It was just wonderful.'

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Francis Sparrow, another passenger added: 'It was amazing, I had no idea she was on the train. What a wonderful surprise.'

In London, officials reserved the first class compartment of the train for the 100-mile journey to Lynn. The Queen, wearing a flecked mint green coat, with a co-ordinating turquoise patterned headscarf, was accompanied by her personal protection officers.

While passengers on the Norwich to London line faced cancelled trains and delays caused by signalling problems, services on the Fen Line via Downham Market, Ely and Cambridge were running on time.

After arriving in Lynn, the Queen left the platform via a side entrance - which was renamed the Queen's Gate when the station was given a period refurbishment two years ago.

Station manager Graeme Pratt said he was very pleased to have the Queen on board.

He said: 'It was good to have Her Majesty on board and we are pleased that she enjoyed the journey. It is an absolute privilege to transport the Royal Family, especially Her Majesty.'

The Queen was led to a waiting Range Rover for the final 10-mile leg of the journey to Sandringham - including a stretch of road called Queen Elizabeth Way.

One man who saw her being driven off, decided to miss his train so he could get a glipmse of the monarch for the first time.

Liam Baker said: 'I had such a good view, it was amazing to see her.

I went and stood in the car park and I had a really good view and then she waved at us - which has really made my Christmas. I'm made up.'

The Queen usually stays at Sandringham until early February, when she celebrates the anniversary of her accession.

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