SANDRINGHAM, England — Queen Elizabeth II and senior members of the royal family – along with actress Meghan Markle, Prince Harry’s American fiancee – attended a Christmas church service on Monday as a crowd of local residents gathered.

Markle smiled and gave a brief wave in her first public appearance with the queen. She and Harry stopped to talk with several locals on their way back to the queen’s residence.

The queen was joined by her husband, Prince Philip, and close family members including grandson Prince William and his wife, Kate, who is expected to give birth to the couple’s third child in the spring.

William and Kate also stopped to talk with area residents who had waited in the cold for a chance to give flowers to the royals. The crowd was larger than in past years, perhaps because of curiosity about Markle.

Elizabeth, 91, and Philip, 96, missed last year’s church service because they were suffering from the flu, but they seemed in good health during Monday’s brief appearance. Philip walked back to the queen’s house with other royals, but Elizabeth opted to be driven.

The queen and Philip are spending the holidays at Elizabeth’s country estate in Sandringham, 110 miles north of London.

The royal family had a private lunch after the church service. They traditionally exchange gifts on Christmas Eve.

Markle and and Prince Harry plan to marry at Windsor Castle in May.