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The Queen and Prince Philip depart for Sandringham by helicopter

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh have departed Buckingham Palace this afternoon to travel to Sandringham, where the couple will spend the Christmas season

The 90-year-old Queen and 95-year-old Prince Philip are flying to Norfolk by helicopter rather than train.

They were originally going to travel Sandringham on Wednesday, but the plans were cancelled due to both Her Majesty and the Duke suffering from heavy colds.

In a statement released yesterday, Buckingham Palace said: “The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh have heavy colds, and so have decided not to travel to Sandringham today.”

The Queen will now stay in Norfolk until February. Prince Philip usually returns to London shortly before Her Majesty.

Her Majesty was expected to leave London for Kings Lynn by train, however, for the monarch’s comfort, this was changed to air travel.

On Tuesday, The Queen hosted a traditional pre-Christmas dinner for members of her extended family at Buckingham Palace. She was then scheduled to leave London on Wednesday.

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