The Queen looked the picture of good health as she arrived at King's Lynn station in Norfolk on Thursday morning. Accompanied by Prince Philip, the monarch was seen leaving London's Kings Cross station before she embarked on her journey to her country estate in Sandringham for Christmas. Surrounded by police escorts, the Queen smiled warmly at well-wishers as she stepped aboard the 10:44 service and into her carriage.
The royal couple were then driven about seven miles from King's Lynn to Sandringham House, after greeting station staff. They have made it somewhat of a yearly habit to take the train to King's Lynn. However, last year, the Queen and Prince Philip were forced to alter their original travel plans after they both came down with "heavy colds". Her Majesty always travels on the day after her Christmas party at Buckingham Palace for the royal family, and the unexpected cancellation sparked both concern and speculation for the couple's health.
On Wednesday, the Queen invited Prince Harry's fiancée Meghan Markle to this year's pre-Christmas lunch at Buckingham Palace where she was given the chance to meet extended memebers of the royal family. Meghan's invite to the lunch is another indication of how quickly she has been accepted into the monarchy ahead of the wedding. Last week, Kensington Palace confirmed that Meghan, 36, will join the Queen for Christmas at Sandringham. The actress will be seen in public with other royals when she attends the traditional Christmas Day church service on the Queen's private estate in Norfolk. "You can expect to see the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry and Ms Markle at Sandringham on Christmas Day," a Kensington Palace spokesman said.