Hundreds of well-wishers at Sandringham to wish Queen a merry Christmas as William wakes up to celebrate the day with the in-laws

Laughter, the perfect tonic: Two days after missing church with a cold, smiling Queen is back in fine form for Christmas service
Queen, 86, looked radiant in Sandringham in turquoise Peter Enrione dressDuke and Duchess of Cambridge opted to spend day with Kate's parentsWilliam and Kate joined her family to attend St Mark’s Church in EnglefieldMedia were requested to 'respect their
privacy' outside Berkshire service

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UPDATED:

00:42 GMT, 26 December 2012

The Queen appeared to have made a remarkable recovery yesterday from the heavy cold which caused her to miss church on Sunday for the first time in living memory.

She looked radiant in a bright turquoise Peter Enrione dress and matching wool coat with a hat by Rachel Trevor-Morgan.

Wellwishers were delighted as the 86-year-old Queen collected posies and gifts of teddy bears outside St Mary Magdalene Church, Sandringham.

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Merry Christmas Ma'am: The Queen cracks a broad smile as she leaves st Mary Magdalene church in Sandringham. She has been recovering from a cold but a Palace spokesman said she had been determined to attend the service

Merry Christmas Ma'am: The Queen cracks a broad smile as she leaves st Mary Magdalene church in Sandringham. She has been recovering from a cold but a Palace spokesman said she had been determined to attend the service

Prince Philip, who was forced to miss the occasion last year after he was hospitalised over a blocked coronary artery, seemed in good spirits as he arrived at the church
Prince Philip, who was forced to miss the occasion last year after he was hospitalised over a blocked coronary artery, seemed in good spirits as he arrived at the church

A royal entrance: (L-R) Britain's Sophie, Countess of Wessex, Lady Louise Windsor, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

A Royal entrance: (L-R) Britain's Sophie, Countess of Wessex, Lady
Louise Windsor, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, Prince Edward, Earl of
Wessex, Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence and Prince Philip, Duke of
Edinburgh arrive for the Royal family Christmas Day church service at St Mary Magdalene church in Sandringham

Prince Charles and Camilla Duchess of Cornwall arrive for the service. Prince William is spending Christmas with the Middleton family while Prince Harry is serving in Afghanistan

Prince Charles and Camilla Duchess of Cornwall arrive for the service. Prince William is spending Christmas with the Middleton family while Prince Harry is serving in Afghanistan

Christmas gift: The Queen receives a teddy bear from a young fan as children queue to present her with flowers outside church

Christmas gift: The Queen receives a teddy bear from a young fan as children queue to present her with flowers outside church

The smile says it all: The Queen appears delighted at a gift of flowers from two young royal fans

The smile says it all: The Queen appears delighted as she receives a gift of flowers from two young royal fans

The Queen is presented with a small bouquet from another young admirer

Princess Beatrice and sister Princess Eugenie receive flowers outside of St. Mary's church

The Queen is presented with a small bouquet from another young admirer while Princess Beatrice and sister Princess Eugenie also received flowers outside of St. Mary's church

The Queen talks to Sandringham rector Jonathan Riviere as she leaves following the Royal family Christmas Day church service

The Queen talks to Sandringham rector Jonathan Riviere as she leaves following the Royal family Christmas Day church service

Christmas service: The Queen chats to Prince Charles as she arrives at church where she was greeted by over 1,000 well-wishers

Christmas service: The Queen chats to Prince Charles as she arrives at church where she was greeted by over 1,000 well-wishers

At the end of a momentous year for the Royal Family, observers said they had never seen the Queen looking happier.

MEDIA ASKED TO 'RESPECT THE PRIVACY' OF WILLIAM AND KATE

The media were requested to ‘respect the privacy’ of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge despite their decision to attend church with family and friends in Berkshire yesterday.

All national media acceded to the request.
But a small number of freelance photographers turned up, including representatives of the Reuters international news agency.

The couple’s Scotland Yard police protection officers made no attempt to stop them taking pictures, as they often do, and even moved their vehicles to provide a clear view of William and Kate.

The photographs subsequently went round the world but St James’s Palace requested British newspapers not to publish them.

The only disappointment for the crowds
was the absence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who opted to
spend Christmas Day with Kate’s parents at their new mansion in
Bucklebury, Berkshire, as well as Prince Harry who is serving on the
front line in Afghanistan as an Apache helicopter pilot.

Instead of meeting and greeting many
of the estimated 3,000 members of the public who go to Sandringham in
Norfolk each year, William and Kate joined her parents, Michael and
Carole Middleton, sister Pippa and brother James for family Eucharist
and Christmas carols at St Mark’s Church in Englefield.

The couple made
the unusual decision to skip the Royal Family’s traditional celebrations
with the duchess still in the early stages of a difficult pregnancy.

Earlier this month she was hospitalised for three nights with acute
nausea, sickness and dehydration.

Flower power: The collection of bouquets given to the Queen completely fill up the boot of the royal Bentley

Flower power: The collection of bouquets given to the Queen completely fill up the boot of the royal Bentley

Princesses Beatrice, right, and Eugenie, left, hold some of the by children attending the Christmas Day church service

Princesses Beatrice, right, and Eugenie, left, hold some of the flowers given to the Queen by children attending the Christmas Day church service

Princess Beatrice wore a creation by the young British designer Rosie Olivia

Autumn Phillips wears a hat designed by Nerida Fraiman

Princess Beatrice (left) wore a creation by the young British designer Rosie Olivia while Autumn Phillips (right) chose one by Nerida Fraiman

(L-R ) Sophie Wessex, Prince Andrew, Lady Louise Windsor, Prince Edward, Timothy Laurence and Prince Philip arrive at church

(L-R ) Sophie Wessex, Prince Andrew, Lady Louise Windsor, Prince Edward, Timothy Laurence and Prince Philip arrive at church

Princess Anne (far right) is joined by her son Peter Phillips and his wife Autumn Kelly

Princess Anne (far right) is joined by her son Peter Phillips and his wife Autumn Kelly

Doctors have warned that the
condition, hyperemesis gravidarum, can recur at any time and the duchess
has suffered at least one relapse since.

According to onlookers, Kate looked
peaky with heavy shadows under her eyes – a sign that the condition,
which her husband referred to ruefully as ‘day and all night sickness’
might have returned again.

But at least Christmas with the
Middletons is a far more relaxed event than the formal affair at
Sandringham, where guests are required to change outfits several times a
day.

Pippa Middleton recently wrote of her
‘blissfully calm’ family celebrations involving nothing more strenuous
than a few parlour games. She also revealed that her father likes to
surprise his family with a different fancy dress each year – once
sporting an inflatable sumo wrestler’s outfit.

Titfer: The Queens eldest grandaughter Zara Phillips wore a hat by milliner Karen Henriksen

Titfer: The Queens eldest grandaughter Zara Phillips wore a hat by milliner Karen Henriksen

Zara Phillips arrives at church accompanied by her husband the rugby player Mike Tindall

Zara Phillips arrives at church accompanied by her husband the rugby player Mike Tindall

Zara Phillips smiles for the camera while her husband Mike Tindall chats to Autumn Kelly, wife of Princess Anne's son Peter Phillips

Zara Phillips smiles for the camera while her husband Mike Tindall chats to Autumn Kelly, wife of Princess Anne's son Peter Phillips

Royal sources were at pains to point
out that William and Kate’s decision to remain in Bucklebury was taken
with the approval of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, and that the
young couple planned to visit Sandringham at some point in the Christmas
period.

Following Philip’s own absence last
year after being rushed to hospital for heart surgery, the duke made a
point of leading his family as they walked from Sandringham House to the
nearby parish church while the Queen, as usual, was driven.

He was accompanied by Prince Charles
and the Duchess of Cornwall, Princess Anne and Vice Admiral Timothy
Laurence and Prince Edward with his wife, Sophie, the Countess of
Wessex, and their eldest daughter, Lady Louise.

Zara Phillips, daughter of Britain's Princess Anne, Princess Royal, arrives for the Royal family Christmas Day church service

Princess Beatrice attends the traditional Christmas Day church service at Sandringham

Hat's the way: Zara Phillips, daughter of Britain's Princess Anne, Princess Royal (left) and Princess Beatrice (right) attend the traditional Christmas Day church service

Each year crowds of well-wishers turn out to greet the royals as they attend an annual Christmas Day church service. People arriving from as early as 4am were greeted by crisp morning weather

Each year crowds of well-wishers turn out to greet the royals as they attend an annual Christmas Day church service. People arriving from as early as 4am were greeted by crisp morning weather

Prince Charles and Camilla chat to the crowds as they arrive at Church

Prince Charles and Camilla chat to the crowds as they arrive at Church

Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie arrive at church

Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall

Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie arrive (left) and Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall arrive at church

Both Princess Anne’s children were
present this year with their respective spouses – Olympian Zara Phillips
and husband Mike Tindall and Peter and Autumn Phillips.

Prince Andrew
was accompanied by his daughters, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, who
wore some of the most eye-catching outfits of the day.

Zara wore a hat by Karen Henriksen,
the Countess of Wessex chose one by Jane Taylor, Autumn Phillips opted
for a Nerida Fraiman design while Princess Beatrice wore a creation by
the young British milliner Rosie Olivia.

Prince Harry is posted at Camp Bastion where the attack took place tonight. He is pictured here examining an Apache helicopter last week

Royal service: Prince Harry pictured in Afghanistan. He is to add some
royal cheer to festive celebrations at Camp Bastion by serving up
Christmas lunch

Phoenix Stanford, eight, and
sister Evangeline, five, from RAF Mildenhall, Suffolk, wore Santa hats
as they met the Queen. Phoenix said: ‘The Queen said they were lovely
flowers.’

The Queen was also handed a bag of dog treats for her corgis by a girl in the crowd.

At Sandringham, the Royal Family enjoy
a Christmas lunch of Norfolk turkey before settling down in front of
the television to watch the Queen’s Speech.

Asked whether William and Kate would have done the same with the Middletons in Berkshire, a source said: ‘Absolutely.’

VIDEO: The Queen attends Christmas Day church service

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