The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh took a train from London to King's Lynn on Thursday morning to begin their annual Christmas holidays in Sandringham House.
It was the Queen's fourth straight year catching the scheduled passenger train to King's Lynn, but this year Prince Philip joined her for the first time. According to Eastern Daily Press, around 50 people were on the train and were surprised to see the monarch and the Duke arrive at the station.
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Queen Elizabeth wore a pink and red wool coat combined with her signature headscarf, and black accessories whilst Prince Philip opted for a grey suit and a camel trench coat.
Prior to her departure to her Christmas residence the Queen "embraced" new technology and recorded her traditional Christmas broadcast in 3D for the first time, Buckingham Palace has announced.
The festive message has gone hi-tech to allow viewers to scrutinise the Queen as never before in her Diamond Jubilee year. However, the audience will also be able to see the 86-year-old monarch in standard and high definition during the speech, which will be broadcast at 3pm on Christmas Day.
The theme of this year's message is not known but it is likely to feature the key highlights from 2012 - the London Olympic Games and the Diamond Jubilee.
The Queen has watched her 3D Christmas message, produced this year by Sky News, and enjoyed the experience. A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said the monarch thought the broadcast was "absolutely lovely".
She added: "We wanted to do something a bit different and special in this Jubilee year, so doing it for the first time in 3D seemed a good thing, technology wise, to do. The Queen absolutely agreed straight away there was no need for convincing at all, she was absolutely ready to embrace something new in this year."
The monarch's departure comes after celebrating a Christmas lunch with senior members of the royal family at Buckingham Palace. Looking fully recuperated from her acute morning sickness, Kate Middleton and her husband Prince William where just two of the 40 special guests that joines the Queen on the festive occasion.
The couple arrived in separate cars and according to sources, they both attracted cheers from small crowds gathered outside the palace. The Duchess, who is less than 12 weeks pregnant, wore a lovely pink dress the event which perfectly matched William's tie.
Future granddad Prince Charles, his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Andrew and his daughters Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie also attended.
The Earl and Countess of Wessex, and their children along with the Duke of Kent, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, Princess Alexandra, and Prince and Princess Michael of Kent also were also spotted entering the palace.
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