The 90-year-old British monarch and Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, 95, decided against taking their annual train journey from London to Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, England on Wednesday (21Dec16) after they were both struck down with "heavy colds".

However, by Thursday (22Dec16), they were well enough to take a helicopter directly to their countryside home.

"I can confirm that The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh have left Buckingham Palace and are traveling to Sandringham," a palace spokesperson said.

The couple typically hosts its family's festive gathering at Sandringham, where the royals attend traditional Christmas services at St. Mary Magdalene Church on the morning of the holiday.

They then head back to their retreat for a turkey lunch.

The Queen also delivers her annual televised address to the nation on Christmas Day (25Dec16).