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Queen arrives in Sandringham later than planned

  • Watch the Queen arrive in Sandringham by helicopter

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh have arrived in Norfolk for their Christmas break a day later than planned.

Instead of travelling by train the Royal couple made the journey from Buckingham Palace to Sandringham by helicopter.

The Queen and Prince Philip were forced to delay the trip because of heavy colds but were well enough to travel today.

They will spend their traditional Christmas on the estate in west Norfolk with other members of the Royal Family.

In past years the couple have joined commuters on the train from King's Cross to King's Lynn.

Queen delays trip to Sandringham because of heavy cold

The Queen was expected to travel to Sandringham today for the start of her Christmas break. Credit: PA

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh have heavy colds and have decided not to travel to Sandringham today, Buckingham Palace has said.

They were expected to go by train to King's Lynn and then on to her nearby Sandringham estate in Norfolk.

The royal couple instead stayed at Buckingham Palace.

There was a police presence at the station this morning, but the officers later left.

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Royal household official jailed for accepting bribes

Former Royal Household official, Ronald Harper, accepted more than £100,000 in bribes. Credit: Hannah McKay/PA Wire

A former Royal Household official from Suffolk who accepted more than £100,000 in bribes to award contracts for work at royal residences including Buckingham Palace has been jailed for five years.

Ronald Harper was deputy property manager responsible for maintaining the Queen's main London home, as well as St James's Palace, Clarence House and Windsor Castle, from 1994 until he was suspended in 2012.

The 64-year-old, from Sudbury, accepted payments or gifts from the directors of companies who were then given large contracts for maintenance of the historic buildings paid for by the then Civil List, now called the Sovereign Grant.

He was found guilty of two counts of conspiracy to make corrupt payments after two trials at Southwark Crown Court in June and August.

The corrupt bribes were made "over a significant period of time" either to directly to Harper or via a member of his family, while some of the money was used to pay Harper's credit card bills, jurors were told.

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