The Queen set to refuse to stray from vital Christmas plans despite national crisis

The Queen
(Image credit: Getty)

The Queen is expected to refuse to change her vital family Christmas plans despite the national crisis over the new covid variant.

The Queen (opens in new tab) has arranged for 50 members of the royal family to come together at Windsor before she heads to Sandringham for her Christmas break (opens in new tab) - despite rising cases of a new covid variant (opens in new tab).

The Monarch is said to be pressing ahead with her plans to host an early Christmas lunch for the family on Tuesday - among those attending are Prince Charles and Camilla.

The annual Christmas lunch is usually held at Buckingham Palace but last year it had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus (opens in new tab) pandemic but this year her Majesty is resisting moves to cancel the event again this year.

It comes after the UK has seen a rise in the number of Omnicron cases (opens in new tab), with speculation of schools being closed (opens in new tab) again.

Instead, the Queen is set to hold it at Windsor Castle, where she is currently resting and remains on 'light duties' following multiple health scares.

And a day after the party, which is expected to feature wine, crackers and a feast, the Queen will travel by helicopter to Sandringham in Norfolk, for Christmas itself.

The royal family recently shared its recipe for Cinnamon stars in the run-up to the party so families can recreate the festive sweet treats at home.

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A source told the Sun, "Currently it is going ahead but obviously it will be under review right up until the last moment. It is Windsor Castle so it will be pretty easy to socially distance if needed.

"There is no way the Queen wants to let anything get in the way of a family event like this."

It will be her first major family gathering since the funeral of her husband Prince Philip who died aged 99 (opens in new tab), and it was previously claimed the Queen wasn't going to let her health fears get in the way of her tradition (opens in new tab) - even if she had had a medical warning (opens in new tab).

The source explained, "Particularly with the year, she has had after losing her husband and being forced to go on light duties on doctor's orders.

"It will likely be the first time so many family members have been together since Philip's funeral.

"But obviously everyone must act responsibly and things can change in a short period of time but as it stands they're all set for Tuesday."

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An ITV film crew recorded the Queen's traditional Christmas speech, which is set for a big change this year (opens in new tab),

You can watch her Christmas Broadcast from 2020 below where her desk contains just a snap of Prince Philip, a change from previous years when her desk has been filled with family snaps following her 2019 broadcast in which she seemingly snubbed Meghan Markle and Prince Harry (opens in new tab).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZbCRN3C_Hs

You can watch the Queen's speech on Christmas Day, Saturday 25th December at 3pm on ITV Sky One, Sky News and listen to it on BBC Radio 4. You can also watch online through the Royal Family YouTube Channel and their Facebook page.