The Queen makes animated appearance at Sandringham ahead of London return

The Queen had a wonderful spring in her step as she attended a church service on Sunday in West Newton, Norfolk. Accompanied by her husband Prince Philip, the reigning monarch was all smiles as she greeted fellow churchgoers and well-wishers outside the chapel.

Looking pretty in pink, Her Majesty wore a blush buttoned down coat with a matching hat, and a sparkly flower brooch.


The Queen was attending a church service near her estate in Sandringham

The 88-year-old royal, who had not travelled far from her residence in Sandringham, beamed for the cameras and gladly accepted the bouquets of tulips and other flowers she was presented with.

The Queen's animated appearance was a clear reflection of her eagerness to welcome the spring weather – a change to her outing two weeks ago at the St. Mary Magdalene church, also nearby, where she took extra precautions from the winter chill with a fur hat, matching cuffs and a blue blanket.

Her Majesty has been residing at Sandringham over the Christmas break, and is expected to return to Buckingham Palace soon after her relaxed festive season.

The Queen greeted well-wishers and was presented with bouquets of flowers

Meanwhile, her grandson Prince William and his pregnant wife the Duchess of Cambridge, née Kate Middleton, have escaped the harsh weather and are enjoying their annual holiday in Mustique.

The Duke and Duchess brought along their 18-month-old son Prince George, and were later joined by Kate's parents Michael and Carole Middleton and her younger siblings James and Pippa.

The Queen is expected to return to London soon following the Christmas break

While Kate was taking the opportunity to enjoy some rest and relaxation after her busy month of engagements, and ahead of the birth of her second baby in April, the Middletons were also celebrating Carole's 60th birthday on Saturday.

The family are reported to be staying at the stunning Aurora Villa on the island, which features a private swimming pool and sun deck, plus a butler, chef and housekeeper to cater to their every need.

Mustique has long been a favourite holiday destination for the Berkshire-residing group – the Caribbean hotspot was in fact the destination for Prince George's first holiday abroad in 2014.