Queen Elizabeth cancels annual Christmas trip to Sandringham amid rising Covid 19 cases

The Queen has changed her Christmas plans due to COVID-19 and the spread of the new Omicron variant.

Updated on Dec 21, 2021 04:23 PM IST  |  355.5K
Queen Elizabeth cancels
The popular annual family walk to church on Christmas morning will not take place this year
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Queen Elizabeth, like millions of others, has had to rethink her holiday plans. With COVID-19 cases on the rise in the United Kingdom, the 95-year-old monarch has changed her plans for the Christmas and New Year's holidays, opting not to visit Sandringham.

The Queen usually stays at her estate in Norfolk from late December to just after February 6 (the date she became queen after the death of her father, George VI, nearly 70 years ago), but with the Omicron coronavirus variant causing an increase in cases, PEOPLE has confirmed she has decided to stay at Windsor Castle. According to a royal source, the decision was made after "careful consideration" and reflects the ongoing "precautionary approach." According to the source, she will be visited by various members of her family over the Christmas holiday.

However, the Queen's decision means that the popular annual family walk to church on Christmas morning will not take place this year. This year's holiday season will be especially poignant for the Queen, as it will be her first without her beloved husband, Prince Philip, who died in April. They had been together for 73 years.

Meanwhile, The monarch is staying at Windsor for the second year in a row. During the peak of the pandemic last winter, she and Philip remained in the country as the United Kingdom was encouraged to stay at home and avoid visiting family. Members of the royal family usually join her at Sandringham, with guests arriving in the early afternoon on Christmas Eve. The royals open their gifts on Christmas Eve rather than Christmas Day, and the family famously walks to church services at St. Mary's Magdalene Church on the estate on Christmas. Following their visit to the church, the royal family returns to Sandringham House for a lunch of Norfolk turkey and other festivities.

ALSO READ:Queen Elizabeth II to NOT participate in solo royal events following latest health scare: Report

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