The Queen has decided to cancel her traditional pre-Christmas family lunch due to the increasing cases of Omicron in the UK.
It is understood the decision was taken as a precautionary measure as Her Majesty felt that it ‘could put too many people’s Christmas arrangements at risk if it had taken place earlier’.
A senior palace source said: ‘The Queen is very sorry, but feels it is the right thing to do.’
Buckingham Palace has not yet commented on the canceled deals.
Plans are said to be in full swing at Windsor Castle for next Tuesday’s Christmas lunch, which the 95-year-old monarch hosts annually for her extended family.
Last year’s gathering was also canceled because of the pandemic.
Most years, the Queen invites her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren to attend Buckingham Palace – which is currently under renovation – before departing for the annual Christmas break at Sandringham.
The Queen is said to remain committed to hosting her in-person family reception at Sandringham in Norfolk, but is expected to give advice over the next few days on whether it is safe to do so. according to the Daily Mirror.
The pre-Christmas celebrations give heads of state the chance to meet loved ones who can’t make it to Norfolk for the Christmas holidays.
The wider family is also often invited, including the Queen’s cousins the Gloucesters, the Duke of Kent and Michaels of Kent.
This Christmas is the Queen’s first since the death of her husband of 73 years, the Duke of Edinburgh.
The Queen and Philip spent Christmas Day together at Windsor in 2020, without other members of the family, after spending most of the year being cared for by a reduced number of staff at what is called the HMS Bubble.
She has only performed light duties since October 20 when worries about her health ran high after royal doctors asked her to rest and she spent a night in hospital for a check-up. .
The UK recorded 78,610 new confirmed Covid cases yesterday, the highest number since the pandemic began.
England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty has urged people to ease their social relationships before Christmas and prioritize ‘the things that are really important to them’.
There are now 15 people hospitalized with the new variant of Omicron, and the number of cases is doubling every two days.
Whitty said the peak could hit ‘very quickly’ and daily hospitalizations could break the previous record of 4,583 – set in a second wave in January.
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https://metro.co.uk/2021/12/16/queen-cancels-pre-christmas-lunch-with-royal-family-15781148/?ITO=metro-trending The Queen cancels her pre-Christmas lunch with the royal family