The Queen’s Christmas Will Look Very Different This Year

Prior to 2020, the royal celebrated the festive season in Sandringham.

by Alice Broster
Queen Elizabeth II poses for a photo after her annual Christmas Day message
WPA Pool/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Over the last week families across the UK have had to make changes to their Christmas plans due to the Omicron surge and the royal family is no different. On Dec. 20 the Queen announced that she wouldn’t be spending the festive period at Sandringham estate in Norfolk, as the royal family traditionally would.

A royal source confirmed to the Independent that instead of travelling to Sandringham, the Queen will spend Christmas and New Year at Windsor Castle. They said that family will come to visit her over the festive period rather than her travelling to meet them. It’s the first Christmas that the Queen will spend without Prince Philip, who passed away in April 2021.

The announcement comes after Buckingham Palace had already confirmed that the Royal’s pre-Christmas lunch would be cancelled. The lunch normally takes place on Dec. 21 at Windsor Castle. The Queen is joined by her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, as well as close friends and extended family.

Last year, the Queen spent Christmas in Windsor Castle with Prince Philip. The pre-Christmas lunch was cancelled due to lockdown restrictions, and the royal couple celebrated the season without the rest of their family. Prior to 2020, the Royals had spent every Christmas at Sandringham since 1988. Town and Country explained that the Queen would usually remain in Norfolk until early February.

In October 2021, the Queen stepped back from some of her royal responsibilities, after doctors instructed her to get some rest. It’s been reported that she underwent some tests and remained in hospital overnight. A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said that she remained “in good spirits" throughout.

Though Christmas will look a little bit different again for the royals, Prince William revealed that there are some traditions that will remain. “When I see my children meet up with some of my cousins' children and they have a wonderful time playing together, it's very special,” he told Radio Marsden in a recent interview. “We're playing board games with the children quite a lot. We love playing Monopoly, that's a good one. Some people get quite cross when they lose.”