LONDON -- Queen Elizabeth II was not well enough to attend the traditional New Year church service because of a lingering cold, Buckingham Palace said Sunday
The palace said the queen ``does not yet feel ready to attend church as she is still recuperating from a heavy cold.''
It was unusual for her to miss the service, long part of her New Year's Day routine. The inclement weather may have been a contributing factor. It was cold with a steady rain.
Elizabeth also missed the Christmas church service last week.
The 90-year-old monarch had earlier delayed her departure for her rural estate in Norfolk for the Christmas holidays because both she and her husband Prince Philip were suffering from colds.
She traveled one day later than planned and used a helicopter rather than a train to shorten the journey time.
The prolonged illness has raised some concerns because colds and flus can be dangerous 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.
Philip, 95, has also reduced his schedule but managed to attend more than 100 public events in 2016.
Other members of the royal family including Philip attended the service Sunday at the church on the grounds of her Sandringham estate. (AP)