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The Queen steps out with Prince Andrew during first appearance since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's announcement

The Monarch was pictured attending church in Sandringham on Sunday morning

Hanna Fillingham

On Sunday morning, the Queen looked refreshed and happy as she stepped out in Sandringham to attend the Sunday morning church service at St Mary the Virgin, Hillington. The monarch looked lovely dressed in a black-and-white checked coat which she teamed with her favourite black brogues and a patent black bag. The royal wore a black floral hat and pearls to complete her outfit. The 93-year-old was accompanied by her son Prince Andrew, who has been keeping out of the spotlight since stepping down from his royal duties after his BBC Newsnight interview last year, which focused on his relationship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

 

Watch Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's timeline before stepping back from royal duties

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The Queen was all smiles as she stepped out with Prince Andrew on Sunday morning

This was the first time that the Queen had been seen since her announcement regarding the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on Saturday evening. Having discussed in detail the plans for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's new life away from the royal family, Her Majesty informed the public that her grandson and Meghan would be giving up their royal titles, as well as paying back £2.4 million of the taxpayers' money spent on refurbishing Frogmore Cottage. The statement read: "Following many months of conversations and more recent discussions, I am pleased that together we have found a constructive and supportive way forward for my grandson and his family.

MORE: Prince Harry receives outpour of love as he gives up everything from Meghan Markle and Archie

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Andrew has been keeping a low profile since stepping away from royal duties

"Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family. I recognise the challenges they have experienced as a result of intense scrutiny over the last two years and support their wish for a more independent life. I want to thank them for all their dedicated work across this country, the Commonwealth and beyond, and am particularly proud of how Meghan has so quickly become one of the family. It is my whole family’s hope that today’s agreement allows them to start building a happy and peaceful new life."

READ: Take a look inside Frogmore Cottage where Prince Harry and Meghan live

Buckingham Palace also issued the following statement from the Sussexes: "The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are grateful to Her Majesty and the Royal Family for their ongoing support as they embark on the next chapter of their lives. As agreed in this new arrangement, they understand that they are required to step back from Royal duties, including official military appointments. They will no longer receive public funds for Royal duties. With The Queen’s blessing, the Sussexes will continue to maintain their private patronages and associations. While they can no longer formally represent The Queen, the Sussexes have made clear that everything they do will continue to uphold the values of Her Majesty."

The statement continued: "The Sussexes will not use their HRH titles as they are no longer working members of the Royal Family. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have shared their wish to repay Sovereign Grant expenditure for the refurbishment of Frogmore Cottage, which will remain their UK family home. Buckingham Palace does not comment on the details of security arrangements. There are well established independent processes to determine the need for publicly funded security. This new model will take effect in the Spring of 2020."

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