Thursday, 8 Dec 2022

Will the Royal Family walk to church in Sandringham on Christmas Day this year?

Queen cancels Christmas party as she thinks about Sandringham

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Coronavirus cases are surging in the UK, with a record high of 88,376 people testing positive as of December 16. Rising Covid cases and the emergence of the Omicron Covid variant in the UK have prompted England’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty, to urge people to minimise socialising in the run-up to Christmas. This week, the Queen cancelled her annual Christmas luncheon for the extended Royal Family as the country re-evaluates its festive plans.

Several members of the Royal Family usually descend on Buckingham Palace every year to enjoy a Christmas lunch with the Queen.

But the Queen is believed to have cancelled her annual luncheon this year to reduce the risk of ruining people’s Christmas plans.

A Buckingham Palace source told Reuters: “The decision is a precautionary one as it is felt to put too many people’s Christmas arrangements at risk if it went ahead.

“While there is regret that it is cancelled, there is a belief it is the right thing to do for all.”

Will the Queen spend Christmas at Sandringham this year?

Festive plans likely remain up in the air for the Royal Family, much like other families across the country.

Reports have suggested the Queen is looking forward to spending Christmas at her Norfolk estate of Sandringham this year.

According to the Mirror, the Queen was planning to travel to Sandringham via helicopter on Wednesday.

Royal sources told the publication the Royal Family intend to be with the Queen at Christmas, although there remains “obvious ­uncertainty as to how Christmas will look exactly”.

And a royal source told Vanity Fair: “The intention is to go to Sandringham for a family Christmas, but that might look a bit different and it may well be a much smaller family affair.”

Sandringham is the traditional setting for the Royal Family’s Christmas every year.

And on Christmas Day annually, the Royal Family visits the nearby church of St Mary Magdalene and they meet and speak to well-wishers who line the route.

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But according to reports, the Queen’s main residence of Windsor Castle could also be an option for Christmas this year.

If Christmas does go-ahead for the Royal Family at Sandringham, the traditional walk to church could be altered to reflect the current coronavirus situation in the UK.

Large crowds usually gather to speak to the royals as they walk to church, which poses a risk for Covid infection.

Last year, the traditional walk to church did not go ahead, and the event may also be cancelled this year for safety reasons.

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