British RoyalsThe Queen

The Queen returns to London after winter break at Sandringham

Queen Elizabeth has returned to London and Buckingham Palace after spending her traditional Christmas break at Sandringham.

The Queen was spotted at King’s Lynn on Tuesday wearing a lime green scarf and coat before boarding a train back into London.

The Queen’s winter break was marred with health problems as the 90-year-old Queen battled a heavy cold over Christmas, missing the traditional Christmas morning church service. She also missed the New Year’s Day church service, sparking conversations about the severity of her illness.

The Christmas break was plagued before it began, as doctors advised The Queen and Prince Philip not to travel from Buckingham Palace to Sandringham due to their heavy colds. The royal couple usually takes the train to the Sandringham estate, but this year departed by helicopter 24 hours after doctors advised against train travel.

The Queen spent her winter break largely out of sight at Sandringham, but she was still receiving the red boxes of government papers and important documents pertaining to Great Britain, the Commonwealth and foreign countries. Her Majesty was spotted at church a few times as well despite missing Christmas and New Year’s services.

The Queen marked her Sapphire Jubilee – celebrating 65 years since her ascension – on Monday at Sandringham, becoming the first British monarch to celebrate such an occasion. She previously broke her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria’s record reign of 63 years in September 2015. Her Majesty was spotted at church on Sunday wearing a light blue coat, perhaps a subtle nod to her unique jubilee.

Currently there are no plans to mark Her Majesty’s Sapphire Jubilee, and the next celebration will likely be a Platinum Jubilee – 70 years – in 2022, which will be celebrated on the scale of her Golden and Diamond Jubilees (2002 and 2012, respectively), although Her Majesty will be 96-years-old at the time.

About author

Jess is a communications professional and freelance writer who lives in Halifax and has a passion for all things royal, particularly the British Royal Family.