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Sunday, 30 December, 2001, 15:33 GMT
'Chill' keeps Queen Mother from church
Members of the royal family at Sandringham
Royal watchers were out in force at Sandringham
The Queen Mother was absent from the Royal Family's visit to church again on Sunday as she continued to suffer from a "chill".

She did not attend church last Sunday and was not seen at the Christmas Day service.

The Prince of Wales told members of the public outside the church in Sandringham that his grandmother, who is 101, was suffering from a chill.

I just hope and pray that she will be able to see the Queen celebrate her golden jubilee

Wellwisher Dorothy Cornwell

Some royal watchers claimed it was the first time they could remember her not attending any of the traditional Christmas church services on the Royal Family's Norfolk estate.

Prince Charles attended the Church of St Mary Magdalen with the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Earl and Countess of Wessex.

During the 40-minute service, rector of Sandringham Canon George Hall mentioned the Queen Mother in his prayers.

He also mentioned Princess Margaret - who has also not attended church over Christmas after suffering a series of health problems.

Wellwishers

Outside the church, royal watcher Dorothy Cornwell, of Broughton, Cambridgeshire, who has seen the royals arrive for Christmas church services since 1988, said it was the first time she could recall the Queen Mother missing all the services over the festive season.
The Queen and the Countess of Wessex
The Queen and the Countess of Wessex leave church on Sunday

"I can never remember it happening before," said Mrs Cornwell, who is in her 60s.

"But I think that we have just got to accept that now she is an old lady and we are going to see less and less of her.

"I just hope and pray that she will be able to see the Queen celebrate her golden jubilee."

The Countess of Wessex, who is recovering following the termination of an ectopic pregnancy earlier this month, later chatted to onlookers.

"I asked her how she was", said Joy Fovargue, 83, who lives in March, Cambridgeshire.

"She said she was getting there slowly."

Last year the Queen Mother attended more than one church service during the festive period after being driven to the gates of the church on her golf cart.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Tony Morris
"The Queen's message is expected to call for peace and tolerance"
The BBC's Jake Lynch
"There were still plenty of rewards for well-wishers"
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