Queen Elizabeth has missed the Christmas church service near her Sandringham country residence in eastern England for the first time in decades – because of a heavy cold, EuroNews reports.

A palace spokesperson said: “The Queen continues to recover from a heavy cold and will stay indoors to assist with her recovery.

“Her Majesty will participate in the Royal Family Christmas celebrations during the day.”

The Queen, who is 90, recently announced that she will be scaling back some of her duties, passing them over to other members of the Royal Family.

She will step down as patron of more than 20 national organisations at the end of the year.

Prince William also missed the Sandringham service this time.

William and Kate, along with their children George and Charlotte, went to church in Berkshire – as they are spending Christmas with Kate’s family.

The Queen’s annual Christmas speech, which was recorded before she fell ill, was broadcast as usual on Christmas Day.

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