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Sunday, 20 January, 2002, 18:25 GMT
Princess Beatrice sings to Queen
Princess Beatrice outside the church
The princess is a member of her school choir
Princess Beatrice has sung to her grandmother, the Queen, at a church service.

The Duke and Duchess of York's 13-year-old daughter sang first soprano with her school choir at the Sunday service in Norfolk.

One of the pieces the all-girl choir performed was a musical version of a poem made famous by Beatrice's great grandfather King George VI.

The King quoted from The Gate of the Year by Marie Louise Haskins in his 1939 Christmas message.

The Queen with the Right Reverend Dr Michael Nazir-Ali
The Bishop of Rochester gave the sermon
The Duke of Edinburgh also joined the congregation at St Peter's Church, Wolferton, near the Royal Sandringham estate.

Princess Beatrice was invited to sing at the service at St Peter's Church, Wolferton, with fellow pupils from St George's School in Ascot, Berkshire.

The Bishop of Rochester, Right Reverend Dr Michael Nazir-Ali - a contender to become the next Archbishop of Canterbury - gave the sermon.

'Very pleased'

The choir sang three other pieces of work with a New Year theme during the 45-minute service.

The princess's parents were not present.

Dr Nazir-Ali praised the choir's performance, saying: "The girls sang beautifully. I thought they were excellent."

The princess left the 14th Century church with other members of the choir after the Queen and Prince Philip, who are staying at Sandringham.

She climbed on board a coach for the journey back to Berkshire after changing out of the red cassock she had worn in church.

The school's director of music, Ian Hillier, said he was "very pleased" with the performance of the 24-strong choir.

Queen Mother

The congregation was made up of invited guests and members of the public who had written to ask if they could attend.

Other members of the Royal Family in church included Princess Alexandra.

The Queen and Prince Philip spoke briefly to well-wishers before returning to Sandringham

Norman Williams, 65, of Wrexham, said he had asked the Queen about her mother's health, to which she had replied: "She is getting along nicely."

For the first time, the Queen Mother, 101, has failed to attend any church services during the Royal Family's winter break at Sandringham.

She is said to have been suffering from a "chill".

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See also:

16 Jan 02 | England
Queen opens home to WI
01 Jan 02 | UK
Still working hard at 101
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