Queen Elizabeth has reportedly had to break a longstanding Christmas tradition of the royals amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as she isolates with Prince Philip in Windsor.
As most things in 2020 have taken an unusual turn, it seems Christmas tradition at the royal family would be following suit. On Tuesday, Queen Elizabeth's holiday plans were revealed via a statement from Buckingham Palace.
The monarch would reportedly be switching things up and spending the holiday at Windsor Castle with her husband, Prince Philip. The royal couple has been isolating at Windsor amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Queen Elizabeth II in the State Dining Room of Buckingham Palace after recording her Christmas Day television broadcast to the Commonwealth on December 10, 2014 in London. | Photo: Getty Images
And now, they have decided that it would be wise for them to remain there and have a quiet Christmas. Usually, the monarch and the rest of the royal family spend the holidays at the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk.
The move to cancel the annual visit to Sandringham by the Queen was earlier suspected when cases of COVID-19 increased.
They enjoy a festive celebration and crown it with the traditional annual walk to church while citizens cheer them. According to royal biographer Robert Lacey, the Queen isn't too thrilled about spending the holiday alone.
The Queen who began the tradition at her Sandringham Estate in 1988 has reportedly always celebrated Christmas in an "enormous family-style" and is upset that this year would be different.
Despite the disappointment and change in plans, Her Majesty remains grateful that her family is safe and healthy. A source confirmed her gratitude to People Magazine, saying:
"They are fortunate to spend Christmas with their family every year, but they understand that their family will have competing demands over the Christmas period."
The insider added that the monarch is hopeful that things return to normal by 2021. Nevertheless, she may still see some of her family members during the holiday, according to new COVID-19 protocols from the UK government
The updated pandemic protocols have allowed households to create a bubble of two additional family groups from December 23-27, loosening restrictions due to the holiday.
The move to cancel the annual visit to Sandringham by the Queen was earlier suspected when cases of COVID-19 increased all over the world and in the United Kingdom.
Per a source who spoke to Closer Weekly, the Queen feared it would get risky if they upheld the longtime tradition. Palace aides were also worried about how they would handle the extensive guest list and the high staff volume during the pandemic.
If, however, the Queen follows the UK's three-household rule and receives some guests, it is believed that Prince William, Kate Middleton, and their three children― Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis ―won't be invited.
Given that the Cambridge children have been attending school amid the pandemic, they are believed to pose a health risk for the monarch. Hence, they could miss out on seeing the Queen for the holidays.
While it's not sure what William and Kate plan for the holidays, there are speculations that it might be spent with the duchess' parents. Going to Sandringham isn't the only Christmas tradition of the royals.
According to reports, they usually attend a black-tie event on Christmas eve, after which they exchange gifts. On Christmas day, they play a game of charades at lunch and never fail to send holiday cards to their well-wishers.
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