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Queen leaves Norfolk after Christmas break she'd rather forget

PUBLISHED: 11:15 11 February 2020 | UPDATED: 11:30 11 February 2020

The Queen arrives at King's Lynn train station to head back to London. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Queen arrives at King's Lynn train station to head back to London. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2020

The Queen returned to London today after a Christmas break in Norfolk she would probably rather forget.

Passengers are held back from the Royal gate as the  Queen arrives at King's Lynn train station to head back to London. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYPassengers are held back from the Royal gate as the Queen arrives at King's Lynn train station to head back to London. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Her Range Rover swept into King's Lynn station just before the 10.44 Great Northern train left on time for the 90-minute journey to the capital.

The 93-year-old monarch was dressed in a pastel blue coat and headscarf and carrying her trademark handbag.

She was met by station manager Graham Pratt, who walked her to the train. Afterwards, Mr Pratt said they spoke about damage caused by the recent storms.

Members of the public were held back from boarding the service until the Queen had taken her seat in a first class carriage.

Police at King's Lynn train station before the Queen arrives. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYPolice at King's Lynn train station before the Queen arrives. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

As she prepared to catch the train, it was confirmed that her eldest grandson, Peter Phillips, had separated from his wife of 12 years Autumn.

A spokesman for the pair, who wed at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle in 2008, said the decision was taken after many months of discussion, and they informed the Queen and their families last year.

Canadian-born Autumn will not return to her home country, but will remain in Gloucestershire where they will co-parent nine-year-old Savannah and seven-year-old Isla.

The announcement comes after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's decision to stand down as members of the Royal Family and leave the UK to forge a new life in Canada.

The fine details of the seismic move were thrashed out at a so-called Sandringham summit attended by the Queen, Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry in Norfolk last month.

It came after Prince Andrew stood down from Royal duties after a TV interview over his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, who was found dead in his cell in a New York jail as he awaited trial on sex trafficking charges in August.

Alongside the more tumultuous events which have engulfed her family over the Christmas break, the Queen was forced to miss her annual meeting with members of the Sandringham WI last month because of a cold.

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