Queen’s Christmas plans changed as Her Majesty cancels Sandringham visit

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The Queen and Prince Philip will break royal tradition to spend Christmas at Windsor rather than at Sandringham, Buckingham Palace has said.

Normally, the Royal Family spend the festive period at the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk where they exchange gifts, eat, drink and be merry.

The royals usually gather at Sandringham on Christmas Eve before going to church together the next day.

But the usual Christmas Day church service there was considered unviable because it might attract crowds, Reuters reports being told by a royal source.

It means the royal family's plans have been thrown into turmoil amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will instead spend Christmas 2020 "quietly in Windsor".

It is the first time in 33 years that Queen Elizabeth II will not spend Christmas on the Sandringham estate.

A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said: "Having considered all the appropriate advice, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have decided that this year they will spend Christmas quietly in Windsor."

The Royals Christmas tradition at Sandringham involves exchanging gifts on Christmas Eve – in a nod to their German ancestry.

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And because they’re Royals and don’t need anything luxury as they already have everything, they buy jokey gifts instead.

Meghan Markle reportedly won Her Maj over in 2017 by buying her a singing Christmas hamster – which also went down very well with the corgis.

The Queen is facing another tough decision before the festive period as she has to choose which members of the Royal Family to spend it with.

Her Majesty, like the rest of England, has been forced into a tight spot after Boris Johnson announced England’s Christmas restrictions earlier this week.

The Prime Minister said Brits, including the Queen, will be allowed to meet up to three households in each other’s homes, a place of worship and outdoor public spaces on the big day.

Sadly, for the Queen, this means she’ll have to choose between Royal Family members.

With Prince Harry and Meghan Markle likely to be out of the country, that’s once less group to choose from, but with Prince William, his family, Prince Charles, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward, Princess Anne and their extended family, it looks like Her Majesty will have to make some tough decisions.

  • Prince Philip
  • Queen
  • Christmas
  • Royal Family

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