queen-elizabeth

The Queen accompanied to church by close friend Sir Jackie Stewart as holiday draws to an end

The Queen will shortly be returning to Buckingham Palace following her winter holiday in Norfolk

Emmy Griffiths

The Queen has been enjoying the last few days of her winter holiday at the Sandringham estate in Norfolk, and visited St Mary Magdalene's church for a service on Sunday with a family friend, Sir Jackie Stewart. Sir Jackie, who is a former F1 racing driver, is thought to be staying with the royal family at the estate during their break, and was spotted as a member of a shooting party on Friday along with Princess Anne and her husband, Sir Timothy Laurence. The 79-year-old has been close to the royals for a long time, and is the godfather to Princess Anne's daughter, Zara Tindall.

Sir Jackie was spotted at the church

Her Majesty looked lovely on the cold winter's day in a sky blue ensemble with a matching hat, a golden brooch and long black gloves, and travelled from the service in the car with a female companion. The royal has yet to return to her official duties since travelling to Sandringham for the Christmas break, and will return to Buckingham Palace on 6 February, which is the anniversary of her father, King George VI's death, and the day she ascended to the throne.

READ: Why the Queen does not celebrate the anniversary of her accession to the throne

Loading the player...

The King passed away in his sleep from a coronary thrombosis while the young Princess Elizabeth was on tour in Kenya with her husband, Philip, who broke the sad news to her. Commander Michael Parker, who was with the couple at the time, recalled: "[Philip] looked as if you'd dropped half the world on him. He took [the Queen] up to the garden and they walked up and down the lawn while he talked and talked and talked to her. She was sitting erect, fully accepting her destiny. I asked her what name she would take, 'My own, of course.'" The royal has since spent the anniversary of her father's death privately, without ever holding any official engagements.

READ: 5 adorable ways Princess Charlotte is taking after her Gan-Gan the Queen

More on: