PICTURE SPECIAL: Hundreds greet Queen at Sandringham Christmas Day celebrations

Hundreds of well-wishers flocked to Sandringham this morning to see the Queen and other members of the Royal Family as they attended the traditional Christmas Day church service.

Visitors from as far afield as Canada and New Zealand were among the crowds who waited to catch a glimpse of the royal party as they made their way to the St Mary Magdalene church.

But anyone hoping for a glimpse of Prince George and Princess Charlotte were to be disappointed as they missed the service.

Around 1,000 people gathered from early in the morning to get the best possible vantage point from which to greet the 89-year-old monarch and the rest of the royal party.

Many of them, including the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, walked to the church, greeting onlookers along the way.

The Queen was driven to the church and waved to the crowds afterwards before returning to the house for lunch.

This afternoon, her annual Christmas message, in which she reflected on a year that included the christening of Princess Charlotte at Sandringham, was broadcast.

And, as she prepares to celebrate her 90th birthday in 2016, she joked she had been warned to expect to have Happy Birthday sung to her regularly during the year ahead.

Yesterday, Princes William and Harry headed to nearby Castle Rising to play in the now traditional festive football match.

The brothers played on the same side, which ran out 4-1 winners