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Queen Elizabeth II misses New Year's Day church service

The British monarch has missed a traditional New Year's Day mass due to a lingering cold. The Queen was also absent from the Christmas church service last week, raising concerns over her health.

Buckingham Palace said on Sunday that Queen Elizabeth "does not yet feel ready to attend church as she is still recuperating from a heavy cold."

Despite not being seen in public for 12 days, there was no indication that the 90-year-old monarch is suffering from a more serious illness. As Supreme Governor of the Church of England, attending the church service has long been part of her New Year's Day routine .

Her absence on Sunday came just a week after she also missed the Christmas service for the first time in decades.

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, leaving St Mary Magdelene Church on New Year's Day

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, leaving St Mary Magdelene Church on New Year's Day

She and her 95-year-old husband, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, also traveled a day later than planned to their Sandringham estate in Norfolk where they spent Christmas. Both were reportedly suffereing from severe colds.

Health concerns

The prolonged illness has raised some concerns over the queen's health due to the potential dangers of colds and flus for elderly people.

The queen has generally been in good health in recent years although she has cut down somewhat on her traveling and public appearances. Prince Philip has also reduced his schedule, but still managed to attend more than 100 public events in 2016.

Despite his wife's absence on New Year's Day, the Duke of Edinburgh still attended mass where he was also joined by his youngest son Prince Edward and daughter Princess Anne and their families.

ksb/se (AP, Reuters)

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