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Duke of Edinburgh Prince Philip misses royal family’s trip to church at Sandringham

PUBLISHED: 17:02 06 January 2019 | UPDATED: 10:35 07 January 2019

Queen Elizabeth II leaves after attending a a church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Queen Elizabeth II leaves after attending a a church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Prince Philip was again absent as members of the Royal Family attended church in Sandringham today.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge leaving after attending a church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA WireThe Duke and Duchess of Cambridge leaving after attending a church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Prince Philip was again absent as members of the Royal Family attended church in Sandringham yesterday.

The Queen arrived at St Mary Magdalene in a Bentley at 11am, joining the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge for the hour-long service.

Crowds of spectators gathered outside the church to see the Royal Family enter and exit the building.

Prince Philip, 97, was absent from last week’s service, as well as a service on Christmas Day.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge leave after attending a church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA WireThe Duke and Duchess of Cambridge leave after attending a church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

One family brought bunches of flowers for their children to give to the family. The flowers were accepted by the Duchess, wearing a long blue coat, who thanked them and commented on the chilly weather.

The children’s mother, Emily Dear, from Fakenham, said: “It’s our first time here together, although I went when I was a child. There are so many people of all ages here, it’s really quite relaxing.

“Unfortunately we only saw the back of the Queen. Our kids expected her to wear a crown but she doesn’t wear one to church!”

The Royal Family traditionally spends Christmas and New Year at Sandringham House. During the 1960s, Christmases were celebrated at Windsor Castle, but since 1988, when the castle was rewired, royal Christmases have returned to Sandringham.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge leaving after attending a church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA WireThe Duke and Duchess of Cambridge leaving after attending a church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Another family outside the church were delighted to be waved at by the Queen. John Clark, whose sons Andrew and John received the royal wave, said the moment was particularly special as he had been waved to by the Queen as a small child.

Mr Clark, 45, from Cromer, said: “This is the first time we’ve been here. We dressed up for the occasion too.

“I have seen the Queen once before, in 1977 when I was four. I got a wave then so I guess it was a matter of time before the boys did.

“They went to the royal flower show and got a wave from Prince Charles - we’re slowly building up the collection.”

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge leaving after attending a church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA WireThe Duke and Duchess of Cambridge leaving after attending a church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Andrew Clark, 10, said: “I felt like oh my God it’s the ultimate member of the family. I’m definitely going to come back.”

Some spectators are regulars at St Mary Magdalene. Hannah Catchpole, from Long Stratton has been coming to see the Queen with her family for more than five years.

The 30-year-old said: “We just love the Royal Family. We came on Christmas Day too, we had to get up at 7.30am to get here, it gets a bit addictive! We came this weekend because on the same one a couple of years ago Kate spoke to me.”

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. Picture: 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. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

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. Picture: 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. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive to attend a church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA WireThe Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive to attend a church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

John Clark with his children Andrew Clark, 10, and Lewis Clark, 8, after being waved to by the Queen at Sandringham. PHOTO: Sophie SmithJohn Clark with his children Andrew Clark, 10, and Lewis Clark, 8, after being waved to by the Queen at Sandringham. PHOTO: Sophie Smith

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