The Queen is facing her first Christmas without Prince Philip by her side, but will not be spending it alone as her close family rally around for the festive season.
Her Majesty will be spending her Christmas Day at Windsor Castle after deciding to cancel travelling up to Sandringham for the special day.
The difficult decision was made after ‘careful consideration’ and reflected a ‘precautionary approach’ amid the rapid spread of Omicron across the UK.
Today the UK recorded a new record high of 122,186 Covid cases as rumours swirl of new restrictions coming in after Christmas.
Like every other family in the country, Covid-19 has decimated Christmas plans, and earlier this week it was announced that Princess Anne’s husband, Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, tested positive for Covid, meaning they are in isolation.
However it was confirmed that Prince Charles and Camilla will be joining Her Majesty for her first Christmas without husband of 73 years Philip by her side.
Also joining them will be the Queen’s youngest son Prince Edward and his wife Sophie and their children, Louise and James.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are understood to be remaining at their Norfolk home, Amner Hall, for the holidays,
William and Kate and their children George, Charlotte and Louis, will be joined by members of Kate’s family for Christmas this year.
Prince Andrew, who lives on the Queen’s Windsor estate, is understood not to have confirmed his plans and is likely to spend Christmas Day with his daughters Princess Eugenie, her husband Jack Brooksbank and their 10 month old son August, as well as Princess Beatrice, her husband Edo Mapelli Mozzi and their three month old daughter Sienna.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will also be absent, having chosen to remain in their new LA home to celebrate with their children Archie, two, and six month old Lilibet.
Yesterday the couple gave the world its first glimpse of Lilibet – named in honour of the Queen – in their annual Christmas card.
She appears in a sweet family snap that features on their 2021 Christmas card, which also shows a rare glimpse their two-year-old son Archie sitting on dad Harry’s knee.
In the card, the couple write: “This year, 2021, we welcomed our daughter, Lilibet, to the world. Archie made us a ‘Mama’ and a ‘Papa’, and Lili made us a family.”
The Mirror previously reported how the monarch’s festive plans were thrown into disarray by the latest wave of Covid.
Her Majesty had already cancelled her pre-Christmas lunch for extended family.
A senior palace source said: “The pre-Christmas family lunch will not be going ahead.
Sky News via 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.
“While there is regret that it is cancelled, there is a belief it is the right thing to do for all concerned.”
Senior royals last week agreed to cut back on all but essential contacts to ensure the Queen would not be alone at Christmas, after like so many others last year being forced to be apart from her loved ones.