Her Majesty the Queen has changed her Christmas plans amid the coronavirus pandemic. In normal times, the monarch would host a pre-Christmas lunch at Buckingham Palace but this year the plans are up in the air.
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While it was reported earlier this week that plans were underway for the Queen to host the annual lunch on Tuesday 21 December at Windsor Castle instead, the monarch's lunch has now been canceled altogether.
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Another reason behind Buckingham Palace not being considered for the lunch in the first place is because it is currently undergoing huge renovation works to overhaul the building.
Buckingham Palace will not host the royal family this Christmas
A ten-year renovation programme, at a total cost of £369million, aims to replace the electrical cabling, plumbing and heating.
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It is hoped that the project, which started in 2017, will help make Buckingham Palace more energy-efficient and cost-effective.
The family usually gather at Sandringham over the festive period
The pre-Christmas celebration is usually a chance for the Queen to host her wider family, particularly those who are unable to make it to Sandringham for the main festivities.
The Christmas gathering didn't take place at all in 2020 either. The royals spent the Christmas period apart, with the monarch and her late husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, staying at Windsor Castle for the first time in 33 years.
This year marks the first year the monarch will spend Christmas without her husband who sadly passed away on 9 April.
This will be the first year the Queen will celebrate Christmas without her husband
Christmas is a special time for the royal family and typically, the monarch would arrive at her Norfolk estate by train in the days leading up to Christmas. Immediate members of the family make their way to Sandringham before the big day and are said to enjoy an afternoon tea on Christmas Eve before exchanging gifts.
Afterwards, they dress for dinner, with the men in black tie and the women in evening gowns, with the table set with the finest dinnerware.
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