THE Queen will not attend today’s New Year’s Day church service at Sandringham.
Buckingham Palace have confirmed Her Majesty will not go to the 11am service due to a ‘lingering heavy cold’.
A spokesperson said: “The Queen does not yet feel ready to attend church as she is still recuperating from a heavy cold.”
The Queen has not been seen in public for 12 days, sparking fears for her health – but daughter Princess Anne, 66, today said she is feeling “better” with her husband Vice Admiral Sir Tim Lawrence confirming Her Majesty is “not too bad”.
Philip smiled at the crowd and joked about the weather as he emerged from the 16th century church this afternoon.
As he walked back to Sandringham House, Edward wished a Happy New Year to onlookers, saying: “Let’s hope it gets better. It can’t get much worse.”
Prince Edward and his daughter Lady Louise Windsor, 13, chose to walk to and from the church with Anne and her husband.
But there was no sign of Prince William and wife Kate, who have not been seen at Sandringham during the Royal family’s traditional Christmas break.
The couple had spent Christmas with Prince George and Princess Charlotte with Kate’s parents at their home in Berkshire.
A crowd of around 250 people had braved the cold and lashing rain to stand outside the church.
Attendees including toddlers were searched ahead of the 11am service as the UK remains on high alert following recent terror attacks in Istanbul and Berlin.
Lynn Willert, 68, a hypnotherapist from Lowestoft, Suffolk, said: “I was very disappointed not to see the Queen, but it is very sensible of her to put herself first and stay indoors.
“Anybody would be worried about illness at her age, but she certainly has this tremendous fortitude. I don’t know how she does it. I think she is our little gem. She has got to look after herself more and not keep pushing on.
“The trouble is that when an elderly person gets a cold, it can turn into pneumonia which can really dangerous.
“But she is a tremendously strong woman which will get her through whatever she has got.”
The Queen, 90, missed the Christmas church service at St Mary Magdalene last year for the first time since she began taking her annual retreat at Sandringham, Norfolk, in 1998.
Philip, 95, who is known for his robust health was well enough to attend and walked briskly to the church as usual on Christmas morning with Prince Charles, Prince Harry and other family members.
The couple have been forced to stay indoors and rest.
The royals were scheduled to travel by train to Sandringham on Wednesday morning but cops were stood down just moments before the 10.44am was due to depart.
The couple were last seen in public together alongside Charles, Camilla, William and Kate at a Buckingham Palace reception on December 8.
They are believed to have spent most of the last week staying indoors together at Sandringham House in north Norfolk.
It is believed that the Queen has not been seen going around the 20,000-acre Royal estate in Norfolk as she often does when in residence.
But Philip is thought to have joined other members of the Royal family on their traditional Boxing Day pheasant shoot.
The change in plans comes after it was announced that the Queen would step down as patron of more than 20 national organisations.
The Queen, who celebrated her 90th birthday in April, will relinquish her association with the bodies – just as the Duke of Edinburgh broke formal ties with some of his patronages when he turned 90 in 2011.
Buckingham Palace were forced to confirm yesterday that both The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh were alive after a sick Twitter hoax claimed The Queen had died.
A spokesman said: “The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh continue to recover from their heavy colds.”
Twitter went into meltdown over rumours the Queen had died and the British press was covering it up.
A sick spoof BBC news account sent people into a panic after announcing her death on Thursday evening.
Despite being ill on Christmas the Queen’s annual speech went ahead as planned.
The annual message was prerecorded at Buckingham Palace and saw her pay tribute to ”ordinary people doing extraordinary things”.
For the latest news on this story keep checking back at Sun Online, where we will bring you live updates as soon as they happen, before anyone else.
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