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UK: Illness prevents Queen to miss New Year church service


London, Jan 1: Britain's Queen Elizabeth II on Sunday missed annual New Year's Sunday church service at her Sandringham estate due to a lingering heavy cold.

"Her Majesty the Queen will not attend Sunday worship at Sandringham today. The Queen does not yet feel ready to attend church as she is still recuperating from a heavy cold," a Buckingham Palace spokesperson said.

Queen Elizabeth

The 90-year-old Queen has had the cold for more than a week, although she is understood to be well enough to read necessary government papers. Her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, attended the service after fully recovering from his cold. The Queen's absence from church on Christmas Day was the first time she had missed the service in many years.

Buckingham Palace stressed that it was a "precautionary measure" and it had "no sense of undue concern". The New Year's Day service at Sandringham on Sunday is led by the Bishop of Norwich and other members of the royal family are expected to attend. It is expected that Prince William and Kate Middleton, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, may have travelled to Sandringham for the New Year after they, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, spent Christmas with Kate's family, at Bucklebury in Berkshire.

The monarch has not been seen in public for 12 days since she and Prince Philip caught heavy colds which forced them to cancel their usual train journey to their north Norfolk estate for Christmas.


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