The Queen is believed to have canceled traditional royal Christmas festivities as Covid-19 cases surge in the UK. Multiple outlets have reported that the 95-year-old monarch pulled the plug on various festivities, including a royal family lunch that was set to be hosted at Windsor Castle.
An estimated 50 people, possibly including senior royals like Prince William, Kate Middleton, and their children, were set to join the Queen for a meal at the castle, but those plans were canceled. Her decision is believed to be in response to growing coronavirus case numbers in the UK, which will have a huge impact on Christmas plans for the royals and everyday citizens.
“There is a belief that it is the right thing to do for all concerned,” royal sources have been quoted as saying about the Queen’s decision. The Sun reported that the decision was made “with regret” from the Queen, according to royal insiders, but that it would “put too many people’s Christmas arrangements at risk if [the lunch] went ahead.”
Buckingham Palace declined to comment further because it was a “private family event” rather than a public royal engagement. Also, the Queen was forced to cancel the royal family’s annual Christmas trip to her Sandringham Estate, where they traditionally spend the holiday together and attend church on Christmas Day.
The trip was canceled last year due to ongoing Covid-19 restrictions in the UK, which left many royal fans eager to see the royals return this year. However, the Omicron variant continues to make case numbers surge in the UK, causing the Queen to call off the trip altogether.
Still, it’s a sad blow for the Queen to have to cancel traditional festivities, as this will be her first holiday season without her husband of 73 years, Prince Philip. He died in April at the age of 99, marking the start of a somber year for the whole royal family.
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Now to Love.