Queen and Prince Philip arrive at Sandringham

The Queen and Prince Philip set off from Buckingham Palace in a helicopterImage copyright

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The Royal Standard was lowered at Buckingham Palace as the Queen’s helicopter took off

The Queen and Prince Philip have arrived at Sandringham after postponing their trip due to heavy colds, a royal spokesman has said.

They flew from Buckingham Palace to the Norfolk estate by helicopter to start their Christmas break.

The royal couple had been due to take a train on Wednesday to King’s Lynn en route to Sandringham.

But they remained in London due to their illnesses.

On Tuesday, the Queen, 90, and the Duke of Edinburgh, 95, hosted a festive lunch for the Royal Family – a tradition they carry out before travelling to their private estate each year.

Prince William was seen arriving with the Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry and three-year-old Prince George.

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The Queen celebrated her official 90th birthday in June with Prince Philip by her side

The Queen’s annual Christmas Day message, which is recorded in advance, is due to be broadcast on 25 December at 15:00 GMT on BBC One and BBC Radio 4.

The palace announced on Tuesday that the Queen would be stepping down as the patron of 25 national organisations.

Her patronages will be passed on to other royals, although she will still be patron of hundreds of other organisations.

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The royal couple were expected to travel to the Norfolk estate on Wednesday

Earlier Prince Charles delivered BBC Radio 4’s Thought for the Day. He spoke out about the danger of religious persecution.

Warning against a repeat of “the horrors of the past”, the Prince of Wales said the rise of populist groups “aggressive” to minority faiths had “deeply disturbing echoes of the dark days” of the 1930s.

Queen and Prince Philip arrive at Sandringham

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