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'Heavy cold' keeps Queen Elizabeth II from morning service, the cornerstone of royal family's Christmas celebrations

'Heavy cold' keeps Queen Elizabeth II from morning service, the cornerstone of royal family's Christmas celebrations

A heavy cold kept Queen Elizabeth II from attending the traditional Christmas morning church service near her Sandringham estate in rural Norfolk, England.

It is extremely rare for the monarch to miss the service, which is a cornerstone of the royal family's Christmas celebrations and brings her into contact with local residents who gather outside for a glimpse.

"The queen continues to recover from a heavy cold and will stay indoors to assist with her recovery," Buckingham Palace said. "Her Majesty will participate in the royal family Christmas celebrations during the day."

Those festivities usually include a gala lunch. In past years, the royal...

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