Queen and Duke of Edinburgh to spend Christmas at Windsor, not Sandringham

1 December 2020, 15:55 | Updated: 1 December 2020, 17:52

File photo: The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will be spending Christmas at Windsor Castle
File photo: The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will be spending Christmas at Windsor Castle. Picture: PA

By Megan White

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will be spending Christmas at Windsor Castle and not Sandringham, Buckingham Palace has said.

It is the first time since 1988 that they will spend Christmas at Windsor and it is not yet known which other Royals, if any, will join them there.

A palace spokeswoman said: "Having considered all the appropriate advice, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have decided that this year they will spend Christmas quietly in Windsor."

The Queen, 94, and Duke, 99, may see some members of their family briefly in accordance with coronavirus guidelines.

However it is likely Christmas celebrations will involve just the couple.

The Queen will also break from her tradition of attending St Mary Magdalene Church on the Sandringham estate during the festive period, near which Royal fans often gather.

The news comes amid speculation about where the Queen and Philip would enjoy the festive period after Covid guidelines forced families to choose who to see during the holidays.

The couple have been isolating at Windsor Castle during the latest lockdown, and recently celebrated their 73rd wedding anniversary there.

In a touching image released to mark the occasion, the Queen and Duke were pictured sitting on a sofa in the castle's Oak Room reading a card from their great grandchildren.

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall will spend Christmas Day at their Gloucestershire home of Highgrove, but are expected to see the Queen and duke at Windsor over the holidays, with Camilla also visiting her family.

The couple have spent much of the lockdown at Windsor Castle being looked after by a reduced number of staff dubbed HMS Bubble.

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