Queen at Sandringham church service

The Queen waved to well-wishers after attending church on a frosty morning at Sandringham.

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The Queen Elizabeth arrives for the service at St Mary Magdalene Church on the royal estate in Sandringham

The Queen waved to well-wishers after attending church on a frosty morning at Sandringham.

After full house on Christmas Day, with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry and a heavily pregnant Zara Phillips swelling the numbers from recent years, today's service at St Mary Magdalene Church was a more low-key affair.

The Duke of Edinburgh and the Princess Royal led the way from the main house on foot, with Prince Charles and Prince Edward walking behind.

The Queen, wearing a purple coat and matching hat, travelled alone by car.

She left immediately after the service in her maroon Bentley, dispensing with the tradition of collecting flowers from a line of children.

Crowd members were told that the large number of children who met the Queen on Christmas Day had made her late for lunch with her family.

Instead they were asked to give flowers to Princess Anne.

On Christmas Day an estimated 5,000 members of the public watched the royals at Sandringham with so many youngsters attending that Kate lent a hand and collected flowers from a second line.

The service was led by the Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Rev Graham James.

Prayers were said for people living in Syria, those serving in Afghanistan and the family of Captain Richard Holloway, the Royal Engineer killed in action two days before Christmas.

The congregation also prayed for those who suffered the effects of flooding and severe weather over the festive period.

Proceedings opened with the national anthem followed by Joy To The World.