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'We got a lovely smile from her' - well-wishers catch a glimpse of the Queen at Sunday service

PUBLISHED: 14:13 13 January 2019 | UPDATED: 09:29 15 January 2019

Queen Elizabeth II leaves after attending a church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday January 13, 2019. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Queen Elizabeth II leaves after attending a church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday January 13, 2019. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Excited well-wishers caught a glimpse of the Queen as she arrived for a Sunday church service at Sandringham.

Queen Elizabeth II leaves after attending a church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday January 13, 2019. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA WireQueen Elizabeth II leaves after attending a church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday January 13, 2019. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

The monarch was not accompanied by Prince Philip again, as his absence from public events continues.

There was also no sign of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge or the Duke and Duchess of Sussex at the Queen’s estate, however Lady Helen Taylor, daughter of Prince Edward, the Duke of Kent, did attend.

Many onlookers braved the poor weather, with dog walkers and royal fans making their way into Sandringham in the hope of grabbing a glimpse of the Queen before she made her way into St Mary Magdalene Church on the estate.

Elizabeth Gray, 70, had travelled from Cambridge with her family in the hope of seeing Prince William and Kate.

Queen Elizabeth II leaves after attending a church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday January 13, 2019. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA WireQueen Elizabeth II leaves after attending a church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday January 13, 2019. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

But she was still delighted to have seen the Queen, who was wearing a bright purple coat and hat.

“It was nice,” she said. “She was out and into the church straight away but they didn’t seem to have an umbrella for her!

“Seeing her is something I have wanted to do for a while and I hoped to see some of the wider family but not today.

“We are going to try and come back next year to hopefully see some more of them.”

Lady Helen Taylor arriving to attend a church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday January 13, 2019. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA WireLady Helen Taylor arriving to attend a church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday January 13, 2019. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Mrs Gray’s husband Ryan, 69, said he was happy to see the Queen after so long.

He said: “I am a bit ashamed I have not seen her before. I have come to Sandringham quite a lot but never when she has been here.”

Laura Chenery, 31, brought her dogs, her daughter and some friends to the estate for a Sunday walk.

She said it was a lovely surprise to see the Queen arrive for the service.

Wellwishers pass though a security check as they arrive to view Queen Elizabeth II attending a church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk.  PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday January 13, 2019. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA WireWellwishers pass though a security check as they arrive to view Queen Elizabeth II attending a church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday January 13, 2019. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

She said: “It was lovely and it was the first time I had seen her. We actually didn’t realise she was going to be here and we came to walk the dogs.

“But we got a lovely smile from her and I felt proud to see her. She is a very special lady and the fact we saw her smile was lovely as well.”

Ms Chenery’s three-year-old daughter Ella, along with Ella’s friends Daisy, two, and Amber, six, were all delighted to see the Queen.

Ella said: “I waved at the Queen and that was nice.”

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