The Duke of EdinburghThe Queen

The Queen and Prince Philip take the train to Sandringham for Christmas

Christmas has officially begun for the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh, who on Thursday left London by train to their Sandringham home to spend the holidays.

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The 91-year-old Queen was dressed in a purple coat with a matching headscarf as she got on board the 1-hour and 37-minute journey to King’s Lynn alongside her husband of 70 years, Prince Philip.

It will bring a smile to many people’s faces as the monarch begins her holiday without any delays. Last year, her visit to Sandringham was delayed as she and Prince Philip both fell ill with a heavy cold.

As a result, she was forced to miss both the traditional Christmas Day and New Year’s Day church services.

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh will not spend Christmas in Norfolk alone. Just as they do every year, members of the royal family will stay with Her Majesty during the festive season.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince George and Princess Charlotte will be just some of the family who will be joining Her Majesty during the festivities.

But all eyes will be on Meghan Markle who will become the first royal fiance to spend Christmas at Sandringham, a privilege not bestowed to any fiancees or partners in the past.

Sandringham has been privately owned by the royal family since 1862 after it was purchased by Queen Victoria at the request of her son and future King, Prince Edward.

It has remained close to the royal family since, and it is from here where the Queen’s Christmas speech is broadcast. The topic and issues raised in this year’s speech is not yet known.

Before the Queen set off to Sandringham, yesterday she hosted a pre-Christmas lunch for her family at Buckingham Palace. All of the senior members of the Royal Family were in attendance, including Meghan Markle.