Queen Elizabeth cancels Christmas at Sandringham

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Queen Elizabeth has decided to cancel her traditional Christmas plans at her Sandringham estate in eastern England for the second year in a row.

Fox News can confirm the monarch, 95, will instead celebrate the holiday at Windsor Castle, west of London, and be joined by members of the royal family. 

Buckingham Palace said the queen’s choice “reflects a precautionary approach” as the COVID-19 omicron variant continues to spread across the U,K.

Before the pandemic, every year members of the royal family would spend the holidays with the queen at the estate and open their presents on Christmas Eve. Then on Christmas Day, they attend church services at St. Mary’s Magdalene Church. Afterward, they would head back to Sandringham for lunch and other festivities.

Last week, Queen Elizabeth canceled her traditional Christmas lunch. She was hoping to host her extended family for the annual get-together next week after last year’s festivities were called off due to coronavirus restrictions. However, a source revealed on Thursday that this year’s get-together was also axed.

Queen Elizabeth II records her annual Christmas broadcast in Windsor Castle, Berkshire, England. 
(Steve Parsons – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

“The decision is a precautionary one as it is felt to put too many people’s Christmas arrangements at risk if it went ahead,” a source told Fox News. “While there is regret that it is canceled, there is a belief it is the right thing to do for all concerned.”

The past year has been a difficult one for the queen. It’s the first holiday season that she won’t have her husband of 73 years by her side. Prince Philip passed away in April at age 99.

Queen Elizabeth II arrives at a Service of Thanksgiving to mark the Centenary of the Royal British Legion at Westminster Abbey, in London, on Oct. 12, 2021.
(Arthur Edwards/Pool Photo via AP)

Then in October, she spent a night in a London hospital for “preliminary investigations” and went on rest for a few weeks. She has since undertaken light duties, including virtual audiences with diplomats and weekly conversations with the prime minister.

Later in November, the palace disclosed that Elizabeth sprained her back and will therefore be unable to attend a ceremony at London’s Cenotaph memorial to honor service members who sacrificed their lives for the United Kingdom.

Queen Elizabeth II arrives for the Christmas Day service at St. Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham in Norfolk, England, on Dec. 25, 2019.
(AP Photo/Jon Super)

“The Queen, having sprained her back, has decided this morning with great regret that she will not be able to attend today’s Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph,” the statement read. “Her Majesty is disappointed that she will miss the service.”

Fox News’ Stephanie Nolasco and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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