The Queen, it has been revealed, will not be spending Christmas at Sandringham House this year in the wake of rising COVID cases
The Queen will not be spending her Christmas at her Sandringham estate in Norfolk this year due to the ongoing pandemic.
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In a precautionary measure in the wake of rising COVID cases across the world and the country, a royal source has revealed the Queen will not travel over the holidays.
Instead, she will be spending Christmas and New Year's at Windsor Castle, where she will be visited by family who will follow the appropriate guidelines.
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According to the source, the decision was a personal one taken after careful consideration and is seen as a precautionary measure.
It has been established as a tradition over the years for the Queen to head to her Norfolk estate in December till about February for the holiday season.
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However, due to rising concerns and a surge in the pandemic due to the Omicron variant, the task seemed less feasible, especially the practice of allowing the public in to watch the family walk to church on Christmas morning.
The attendance of church on Christmas morning had become a royal Sandringham tradition
This will also be the Queen's first Christmas without her husband Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, who passed away in April, although she will be surrounded by other close family members.
The monarch, 95, also canceled her traditional pre-Christmas lunch at Windsor Castle, where she was set to host members of the extended family.
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It is understood that decision is a precautionary one as it's felt that too many people's Christmas arrangements would be put at risk if it went ahead.
Royal sources stated that while there is "regret that it is cancelled, there is a belief that it is the right thing to do for all concerned."
The Cambridges attending the Queen's Christmas lunch in 2019
It is the second year in a row that the Queen has had to cancel her traditional lunch, after last year's pandemic restrictions.
Traditionally the gathering takes place at Buckingham Palace, but the monarch had instead organised for the family catch-up to be held at Windsor Castle as her London residence is undergoing renovation works.
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