The couple who have spent the majority of this year at the estate with a small team of staff amid the coronavirus pandemic have decided to celebrate “quietly” at their Berkshire residence, rather than their usual holiday with other members of the royal family at Sandringham.
A 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.
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“Like everyone they hope things will get back to normal in 2021.”
It is thought to be the first year the queen and her husband have not spent Christmas at Sandringham since the 1980s.
Typically on 25 December, the royals attend a festive service at St. Mary Magdalene church in Sandringham, where large crowds usually gather, but it is believed the 94-year-old monarch won’t go to church this year in a bid to stop large groups of spectators.
Meanwhile, the couple’s eldest son, Prince Charles, and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall will stay at their Gloucestershire estate Highgrove on Christmas Day but are expected to see the queen and Prince Philip at Windsor at some point over the festive period. The duchess will also fit in the time to see her family.
In the UK, three households may form a festive ‘bubble’ over 23-27 December, and it had been speculated that the queen and Philip would join up with their youngest son, Prince Edward, and his family on Christmas Day, before spending Boxing Day on 26 December with the wider royal family at their traditional shoot.
Shoots can legally take place as they are classified as organised outdoor sports and can have up to 30 attendees.
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