Queen takes the train to King’s Lynn to start her festive break

As thousands set off to begin their winter break today, the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh let the train take the strain as they travelled up to Norfolk for their family's festive gathering.

The Royal couple chose a scheduled First Capital Connect service between London King's Cross and King's Lynn, which arrived on time just after 12-noon.

They travelled in the First Class compartment for the 90-minute journey from the capital to Lynn, accompanied by protection officers.

On arriving in Norfolk, they were driven the 10 miles to Sandringham in a fleet of Range Rovers.

Each year, the Queen and members of her immediate family spend Christmas on the Royal Estate.

Over the next week, the Queen and Prince Philip will be joined by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Harry, Princess Anne and Vice-Admiral Timothy Laurence, Zara and Peter Phillips, the Duke of York and his daughters, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie and the Earl and Countess of Wessex and their children Louise and James.

Prince William will reportedly not be present over Christmas because he is on duty as an RAF search and rescue helicopter pilot.

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Crowds are expected to gather outside Sandringham Church on Christmas Day to greet the Royal Family, who traditionally pause to greet well-wishers after the service.