Prince Charles and Duchess of Cornwall to spend Christmas with the Queen at Windsor

The Queen will be spending Christmas Day with the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, a Clarence House spokesman has said.

The head of state will be staying at Windsor for her first Christmas without her late husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, rather than travelling to Sandringham in Norfolk.

It is the second year running that the Royal family’s long-running tradition of hosting the festive holiday in Sandringham – as they have done each year since 1988 – has been cancelled.

The Queen will nevertheless be joined by members of her family over the festive period, including a visit from Charles and Camilla on Dec 25. 

The Earl and Countess of Wessex, who live close by, are also expected to visit, along with their children, Lady Louise and James, Viscount Severn.

The Queen will not attend her traditional church service on Christmas Day on the Sandringham Estate this year

Credit: BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images

However, Princess Anne will not be able to spend Christmas with the monarch after her husband, Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, tested positive for coronavirus. Palace sources said the couple are now self-isolating and will not travel to Windsor Castle.

Those visiting the Queen are nevertheless unlikely to appear in public in anything equivalent to the annual Sandringham walk to church, where Royal wellwishers gather to see the Queen and her family.

The Queen took the decision this year to remain at Windsor as a "precautionary" measure following rising Covid-19 cases due to the omicron variant. The Queen and Prince Philip also spent the Christmas period last year at Windsor.  

It has not yet been confirmed where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be spending Christmas.

The news follows the Queen’s cancellation of her traditional pre-Christmas lunch with her extended family, which had been scheduled for Tuesday.

The Queen thanked members of the emergency services outside Windsor Castle last year

Credit: Richard Pohle/WPA Pool/Getty Images

A Buckingham Palace source said: "The decision was a personal one after careful consideration and reflects a precautionary approach."

The monarch usually stays at her Norfolk estate until Feb 6, the anniversary of her father’s death and Accession Day.

She has spent much of this year at Windsor Castle, where she and Philip remained after Christmas as they shielded throughout the lockdowns.

The 95-year-old monarch lost her husband of more than 73 years on Apr 9, with his funeral held within the castle’s confines.

In October this year, the Queen was admitted to hospital overnight for preliminary investigations and ordered by her doctors to rest. 

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