Queen greets children at Sandringham church service

The Queen received flowers from children as she left the church. Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

The Queen has joined the Duke of Edinburgh and the Earl and Countess of Wessex in attending church at Sandringham today.

Around 200 people gathered to see the Royal contingent as they attended a short service at St Mary Magdalene Church, near their Norfolk residence.

The Queen received flowers from the crowd, including a young girl with a pink bobble hat, who was escorted by a police officer.

She had been driven in a Bentley to the church, while the Duke arrived on foot.

A group of children were given access to the Royals as they arrived. Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

Prince William and Kate had been tipped to attend having spent Christmas Day with the Middletons in Bucklebury, Berks.

The Duke of Edinburgh arrived at St Mary Magdalene Church on foot. Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
The crowd remained to see the Queen return to Sandringham. Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

But it is understood the couple paid a brief visit to the Queen in Norfolk this week, and attended a shoot on the estate, before leaving ahead of today's service.

The royals sang hymns including O Little Town Of Bethlehem during the 40-minute service before returning to Sandringham.

The end of 2012 draws to a close the Queen's Diamond Jubilee year. Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire