The Queen calls for fifty family members’ Christmas lunch in Windsor amid soaring Omicron cases


The Queen on Tuesday canceled her annual Royal Family Christmas lunch “with regret” as a “precaution” to try to save the festive plans of her loved ones, amid fears over the Omicron Covid variant.

The 95-year-old monarch planned to host around 50 loved ones, including Prince Charles and Camilla, at an event at Windsor Castle next week.

A day after the party, the Queen was due to fly by helicopter to Sandringham in Norfolk, where she was due to spend Christmas herself.

However, it has now emerged that the Queen “with regret” canceled her family lunch as a “precaution”, believing that too many people were preparing for the holiday season.

Royal sources said “there is a belief that this is the right thing to do for everyone involved.”

This is the second year that the Queen has canceled the event, which is usually held at Buckingham Palace.

Last year, she canceled lunch when tighter restrictions were imposed amid the outbreak of the Delta Covid strain.

It comes as millions of Britons ended party plans so they could see their families on Christmas Day after Boris Johnson and Chris Whitty triggered a ‘tsunami of cancellations’ for pubs and restaurants urging the country to socialize only when needed – not in large groups or with strangers.

The Queen canceled her annual Royal Family Christmas lunch on Tuesday amid fears over the Omicron Covid variant

Ahead of the announcement, royal expert Camilla Tominey appeared on This Morning today and told viewers the monarch is considering giving guests the choice of whether they attend.

She said: “We thought the Queen was going to throw an extended family Christmas party in Windsor on Tuesday, we believe that continues.

“Then she will go to Sandringham for the traditional celebrations in Norfolk. “

“But apparently now they’re wavering, as we all are.” Maybe it will be the guests and if people don’t feel comfortable coming, it’s up to you.

The 95-year-old monarch planned to welcome around 50 relatives, including Prince Charles and Camilla, to an event at Windsor Castle next week

The 95-year-old monarch planned to welcome around 50 relatives, including Prince Charles and Camilla, to an event at Windsor Castle next week

This year’s event reportedly saw the family reunited in the biggest reunion since the Duke of Edinburgh’s death in April.

While three of his four new grandchildren – August, Lucas and Siena – were due to attend the lunch, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, as well as their son Archie and newborn Lilibet, also born this year, will remain in the States- United.

Meanwhile, the royal family had planned to join the Queen at Sandringham on Christmas Eve and reunite on December 25, as is tradition, before visiting St Mary Magdalene’s Church.

It is currently unclear whether this will continue.

The Queen currently resides at Windsor Castle, where she remains on “light homework” following several health issues in recent weeks.

Royal expert Camilla explained that the Queen's lunch guests could decide if they themselves felt

Royal expert Camilla explained that the Queen’s lunch guests could decide if they themselves felt “comfortable” to attend

The annual Christmas lunch was scheduled to take place at Windsor Castle (pictured) this year, instead of the usual Buckingham Palace

The annual Christmas lunch was scheduled to take place at Windsor Castle (pictured) this year, instead of the usual Buckingham Palace

An ITV film crew recorded the Queen’s Christmas speech several weeks ago.

The Mail reported last week that palace attendants are also exploring options for the monarch to appear in public until December 25 to wish the country a very Merry Christmas.

Although photographs and videos were released by the Sovereign’s Buckingham Palace undertaking in-person and virtual audiences with foreign ambassadors, dignitaries and the Prime Minister, all meetings took place behind the palace walls.

The hope is that the Queen will be well enough to participate in a short public engagement in the grounds of the castle.

The Queen currently resides at Windsor Castle, where she remains on 'light homework' following several health issues in recent weeks (pictured earlier this week)

The Queen currently resides at Windsor Castle, where she remains on ‘light homework’ following several health issues in recent weeks (pictured earlier this week)

His appearance will be seen as a “little joy” in difficult times.

“It won’t be a normal Christmas, but like many families across the country, it will be as normal as it gets,” a source said.

The Queen was last seen in public at a reception at Windsor Castle on October 19. The next day she canceled a trip to Northern Ireland and was rushed to hospital overnight for undisclosed “preliminary tests”.

She was ordered to rest for several weeks and since then has undertaken a small number of low key engagements, including recording a video message for the Cop26 summit.

This is because many people across the country have started to self-isolate on purpose in an effort to avoid having to self-isolate on December 25 if they test positive for Covid.

Professor Whitty said an increase in hospitalizations at Omicron is “nailed down” after cases hit an all-time high yesterday, telling a No.10 TV briefing: “I think what most people do is – and I think that makes a lot of sense – to prioritize the social interactions that really matter to them and, to project those, de-prioritize those that matter a lot less to them.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson at a press briefing in Downing Street, London

Prime Minister Boris Johnson at a press briefing in Downing Street, London

And after weeks of refusing to admit Christmas plans could be threatened, Mr Johnson told the country to cut back on Christmas holidays and “think hard” before going out during the holiday season

The independent group of scientists and doctors SAGE has called for an immediate shutdown of the 10-day “breaker”, with bans on mixing households and shutting down hotel businesses. They accused the prime minister of “delaying” the imposition of tighter controls and said the time had come for “emergency measures”.

And doubling down on the Prime Minister’s inference that people need to be reduced to socialization to avoid catching Covid during Christmas week, Health Minister Gillian Keegan said: “Everyone calls for caution. Most of us will now know someone who is positive with Covid, and that means if you tested positive then you will be isolated by Christmas, so that’s bound to make people a bit more careful.

She added, “Make a smart choice for yourself, make a smart choice. You know, if you’re going to a party, take a test. If there are a lot of people there, you don’t know. , if that’s your priority, fine. If your priority is to make it through Christmas Day with your family, then take a different approach. ”But then adding to the confusion, she later told LBC that Christmas parties can take place, but people should try out ahead of time and sit “spaced” apart.

At last night’s Downing Street press conference, England’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty and Prime Minister Boris Johnson stoked fears by encouraging people to scale back their Christmas plans. Professor Whitty even denied a major real-world study from South Africa that suggested the variant was milder and insisted Omicron “is going to be a problem.”

Government scientists have called for “Plan C” restrictions as they warn there could be 1 million daily cases by next month and 4,000 hospital admissions – levels similar to those seen during from the January closure. However, the projections are strongly contested.

More than 78,000 people tested positive for Covid yesterday – a 50% jump from last week and eclipsing the previous record of 68,053 in January.


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