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Queen of chic: Her Majesty is a vision in fur as she leads Royal fashion parade at Christmas service

By Andy Whelan

Fur Queen and country: Her Majesty was all wrapped up as she attended the traditional Christmas service at Sandringham

At 84, no one would really expect the Queen to be a fashion icon.

But as she attended the traditional Christmas Day service at Sandringham, she was the picture of stylish elegance in co-ordinated fur hat and fur-trimmed coat.

The ‘Snow Queen’ look was completed with ultra-fashionable high-heeled boots, a chic white scarf and clasp, and black designer handbag.

She certainly turned heads among the 1,000 well-wishers who had gathered on the Norfolk estate, while her look also seemed to inspire the Duchess of Cornwall, who attended the service at St Mary Magdalene Church in similar Dr Zhivago-style headgear – but a much bigger version.

The Royal party also included the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales, Prince Harry, the Duke of York and his daughters Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, and the Earl and Countess of Wessex.

Observers say they could not remember so few Royals attending the Christmas Day service.

Princess Anne was notably absent, although her son Peter Phillips and wife Autumn are expecting their baby – the Queen’s first great-grandchild – any day now. Buckingham Palace also announced the engagement this week of Peter’s sister, Zara, to rugby star Mike Tindall.

Family affair: Her Majesty with granddaughters Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie

Sister Act: Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice looked cheerful and stylish as they arrived at the Sandringham church

Prince William was absent as he volunteered to work at RAF Valley on Christmas Day.

The Duke of Edinburgh decided to walk the quarter-mile from Sandringham House to the church with Prince Harry, while the Queen arrived by car. After the service, she was presented with photographs and flowers by local schoolchildren.

The Queen chose sport as the theme for her televised Christmas Day message, describing how it can teach values such as honesty, respect and a sense of community.

She said: ‘Apart from developing physical fitness, sport and games can also teach vital social skills. None can be enjoyed without abiding by the rules, and no team can hope to succeed without co-oper­ation between the players.

Snowy stroll: The Duchess of Cornwall linked arms with husband Prince Charles as they walked to the church with Prince Harry and the Duke of Edinburgh

‘This sort of positive team spirit can benefit communities, companies and enterprises of all kinds.’

But there was no mention of the forthcoming wedding of Prince ­William and Kate Middleton in the speech, which was filmed at Hampton Court Palace for the first time, rather than at Buckingham Palace.

Furry Christmas: The Queen and the Duchess of Cornwall leave the church with Prince Philip - but many of the Royals were absent from the service