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Sunday, 3 February, 2002, 13:51 GMT
Queen Mother's health 'progressing'
Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth II attended church on Sunday
The Queen has told well-wishers her mother's health is "progressing", despite being confined to her room with a bug.

Speaking to members of the public after a church service at West Newton, near the Royal Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, she said the Queen Mother was "coming along".

The Queen Mother, who is 101, was last seen in public on 22 November when she re-commissioned the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal at a ceremony in Portsmouth.

Queen Mother
The Queen Mother has been ill since Christmas
She has not attended any church services in recent weeks and last month was not well enough to fulfil an annual engagement with members of the Sandringham Women's Institute.

The Queen told pensioner Dorothy Cornwell, of Broughton, Cambridgeshire: "She's coming along. She's progressing."

The Queen is preparing to celebrate the 50th anniversary of her accession to the throne on Wednesday.

Her father, George VI, died at Sandringham on 6 February, 1952.

'Sad to leave'

The Royal Family traditionally ends its winter break at Sandringham this week.

The Queen, who has engagements in Wymondham, Norfolk, on Tuesday, and King's Lynn on Wednesday, told Mrs Cornwell that she was "sad to be leaving" Norfolk.

It is not yet known whether the Queen Mother will be well enough to leave Sandringham.

She traditionally leaves before the anniversary of her husband's death and returns to Windsor, where he is buried.

A spokeswoman for the Queen Mother said she did not know what the Queen Mother's plans were.

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