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Queen Goes to Church in First Public Engagement Since Illness

Queen Elizabeth II Returns to Church, and Spotlight 0:34

LONDON — Queen Elizabeth II on Sunday made her first public appearance since catching a heavy cold before the holidays, going to church after two weeks spent recuperating at home.

The British monarch and her husband, Prince Philip, both got sick days before Christmas, forcing them to delay their annual journey from London to her country estate in Sandringham in the county of Norfolk.

Image: The queen was driven to church, carrying a blanket to keep warm.
The queen was driven to church, carrying a blanket to keep warm. Tim Rooke/REX/Shutterstock / Shutterstock

The pair arrived at St. Mary Magdalene church, where they were greeted by a small crowd of well-wishers.

Prince William and his wife, Kate Middleton, also attended the service, but there was no sign of Prince George or Princess Charlotte.

In addition to delaying her Christmas travel, the queen, 90, missed Christmas and New Year’s Day church services that she usually attends, and she was not seen in public for weeks, sparking speculation about her health.

Palace officials said that she was "recovering from a heavy cold" and was staying indoors to assist her recovery. During that time, although she did not attend any public engagements, she reportedly continued to carry out some duties in private.