When will the Queen be arriving in Norfolk for Christmas?

PUBLISHED: 08:47 17 December 2019 | UPDATED: 13:08 17 December 2019

The Queen arrives at King's Lynn railway station and is escorted by Graham Pratt, station manage., to her car. Picture: Denise Bradley

The Queen arrives at King's Lynn railway station and is escorted by Graham Pratt, station manage., to her car. Picture: Denise Bradley


The Queen might be a little more relieved than normal as the state opening of Parliament draws to a close.

For the formal opening on Thursday, after last Thursday's election, comes as she prepares to travel to Norfolk for her Christmas holidays.

Royal Family members traditionally gather at Sandingham on Christmas Eve. On Christmas day, well-wishers pack into the grounds as they attend a church service on the estate.

The Queen likes to arrive a few days earlier, to oversee preparations. They include choosing a Christmas tree from her own sawmill, which will be centrepiece of the house.

The 93-year-old monarch has chosen to travel by train from London to King's Lynn in recent years.

MORE - You know we're on track for Christmas when the Queen gets the train to Norfolk

Fellow passengers frequently fail to realise she is even on the train as she boards just before departure from King's Cross, sporting her trademark headscarf.

Leaving the station by a side gate named after her, the Queen will complete the final 15 miles of her journey to Sandringham by car.

The 98-year-old Duke of Edinburgh will not be accompanying her as he has resided at Wood Farm Cottage at Wolferton since his retirement from public life two and a half years ago.

One of the first things the Queen will want to do after arriving in Norfolk is to check on her foals at the Royal Stud, where her racehorses are bred.

Most of her family will arrive on Christmas Eve, when - in a nod to their German origins - they will open their presents.

Gifts will be laid out on trestle tables in the ballroom, where family members compete to see who can buy the tackiest gift. Prince Harry and the Duchess of Sussex will not be attending this year, after announcing they plan to spend the festive season in America.

MORE - which Royals will be at Sandringham for Christmas?

If Prince Andrew attends, it is unlikely he will join other family members for the traditional walk to church on Christmas Day after standing down from Royal duties over the fall-out from his relationship with sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

Thousands are expected to flock to see the Queen and her family attend the Christmas Day service. Royal watchers queue from the early hours.

This year could see Prince George and Princess Charlotte join parents the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at church for the first time on Christmas Day.

MORE - How does the Queen spend Christmas in Norfolk?

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