Queen's Christmas plans crumble as royal reportedly tests positive for Covid

Queen Elizabeth II attends Christmas Day Church service at Church of St Mary Magdalene on December 25, 2017
(Image credit: Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

The Queen’s Christmas plans could dramatically change after reports have suggested a senior royal might not be able to join her for the festivities. 

The Queen cancelled her pre-Christmas lunch (opens in new tab) with other members of The Firm (opens in new tab) earlier this week, just days before it was announced she would be remaining at Windsor Castle for the festive period. Before the Queen cancelled Christmas at Sandringham (opens in new tab), she was expected to host her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren in Norfolk, as is tradition for the family. However, now it seems she could end up marking her first Christmas since the death of her beloved husband of 73 years (opens in new tab), Prince Philip, without several senior royals. 

It’s not yet been confirmed who might still visit the Queen over Christmas despite the change of venue. However, reports have now alleged that Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, the monarch’s son-in-law has tested positive for Covid-19. 

Princess Anne, Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence watch a flypast to mark the centenary of the Royal Air Force from the balcony of Buckingham Palace on July 10, 2018

According to Hello! magazine (opens in new tab), Sir Timothy is believed to be isolating and following all government guidelines at the Gatcombe Park home he shares with Princess Anne. As a result, it’s currently considered unlikely that the Princess Royal will visit her mother over Christmas and it's been suggested by some that Anne is also isolating.

The reports have not been confirmed by the Royal Family themselves. Though if they do turn out to be correct then the Queen could end up marking this poignant Christmas without her only daughter and son-in-law.

These new reports come at what is already a difficult time for the Queen, with other royal relatives already understood to not be coming to visit for Christmas. It was previously thought Prince Harry and Meghan Markle could bring Lilibet and Archie to the UK (opens in new tab) for the festivities but the Sussexes have just shared their Christmas Card for 2021 (opens in new tab) showing Lilibet-Diana with Archie for the first time.

Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Anne, Princes Royal attend the 2018 Braemar Highland Gathering

Despite this it’s recently been claimed that the Sussexes will not join the Queen (opens in new tab) for Christmas after all and will instead celebrate in the US. Meanwhile, Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla as well as Prince William and Kate Middleton and their children are amongst the royals who regularly celebrate with the monarch, but their attendance this year is also not certain.

And in light of the new reports regarding Sir Timothy, it seems that Her Majesty could potentially face a quieter Christmas without certain close loved ones this year. This might make Christmas 2021 even more heartbreaking for the Queen as she reflects on the loss of Prince Philip, whilst missing her daughter and son-in-law. 

The Queen will no doubt draw special comfort from the royals who do end up visiting her over the Christmas period this year.