Christmas holidays have officially begun for Queen Elizabeth II. She arrived alone for her annual Christmas holidays at Norfolk on Friday.

The 93-year-old monarch carried out her last engagement of 2019 on Thursday, when she attended the State Opening of Parliament, Express UK reports. She delivered a speech written for her by the government, where she listed the bills planned by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

On Friday, she was spotted on the train taking her from London to Norfolk. In the picture, the queen is seen looking outside of the window of the train taking her to King's Lynn train station. Queen Elizabeth II wore a pink dress, accessorised with her signature pearl earrings and necklace.

Police officers searched trains in the morning. They were seen looking inside bins and behind pipes, others were making sure the tracks were clear. A police sniffer dog was also seen on the platform where the queen arrived. This was done to ensure smooth and safe arrival.

Every year, the nonagenarian royal travels by train to Norfolk. It signals the royal family's official beginning of the festive season. The queen stays at Sandringham House from December to February 6. On the day, she celebrates her late father's birthday in Norfolk, at the estate he loved dearly, before returning to London and to work. The monarch and her husband get a chance to relax and rest at the estate.

It has been a tough year for the royal family. Prince Philip, 98, has been admitted to the King Edward VII Hospital in London on Friday for observation and treatment related to a pre-existing condition.

"The admission is a precautionary measure, on the advice of His Royal Highness' Doctor," Buckingham Palace said in a statement. The Duke is expected to be in hospital for a few days and since it was a planned admission, he travelled by helicopter, Daily Mail reports.

The Duke of Edinburgh was staying in a five-bedroom cottage on the grounds of Sandringham estate. He is believed to have arrived at Sandringham in early September.

"A few weeks ago Philip had a bit of a wobble and hasn't felt so energetic. He has been living quietly at Sandringham, where he spends most of his time reading and pottering about. Until recently he has been very active — carriage riding, fishing at Balmoral and driving around royal estates — although he no longer drives on public roads following his crash in January. His mind is as sharp as ever, a source told The Sun.

Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth II confirmed in her speech that the government's priority was to deliver Brexit on January 31 Photo: POOL / Aaron Chown

Next week, the queen will host her extended family for Christmas. Many senior royals are expected to spend their Christmas with her. Prince William, Kate Middleton and their children George, Charlotte and Louis will arrive. Prince Andrew is also expected to be in Sandringham with his daughters, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie.

Zara and Mike Tindall will also be present between Christmas Eve and Boxing Day. Royal fans this year will be happy to see George and Charlotte among the members of the royal family walking to church on December 25.