The Queen has missed a Sunday church service on the Sandringham estate because she is suffering from a cold.
Buckingham Palace said that the monarch was getting over the end of the cold and wanted to make sure it was "over and done with by Christmas" so stayed away from the service.
A spokeswoman for Buckingham Palace said: "The Queen was getting over the tail end of a cold. We are expecting business as usual next week."
The Queen usually visits St Mary Magdalene Church each Sunday when she is in Norfolk.
However, the Duke of Edinburgh, 91, did attend the service at the church, which is just a few hundred yards from the house, with the Duke of York and his daughters and the Earl and Countess of Wessex and their daughter.
Dozens of well-wishers had gathered outside the church to watch the Royal Family attend the service.
Mary Relph, 78, said that she has waited outside the church to spot the Queen every time the monarch has attended a service since 1988.
"I don't remember her ever missing it," she said.
"I remember her going around the back once. I am disappointed but I hope she is OK."
However, the Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said this was not the first time the Queen had missed a church service on the Sunday before Christmas.
The Queen traditionally spends the festive period with her family at her Norfolk estate.
However, this year the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have announced they are planning to spend Christmas at the Middleton family home.
And Prince Harry is currently serving as an Apache pilot in Afghanistan.