This year, the holidays are looking pretty different for many families—royals included. The Windsors are known for spending Christmas together at Sandringham estate, the Queen's Norfolk home. Amid the pandemic, however, they're choosing to celebrate differently.
“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,” a Buckingham Palace spokesperson told T&C.
The royals have spent the holidays at Sandringham every year since 1988, and their Christmas day tradition of walking together to services at the estate's St. Mary Magdalene church has become an annual event for royal watchers, who line up along the sides of the path in hopes of greeting their favorite Windsor. Just last year, Prince George and Princess Charlotte took part in the Christmas day walk for the first time, much to the delight of their fans. (Younger members of the family don't usually participate until they're deemed old enough; apparently George and Charlotte, at 6 and 4 respectively last winter, passed that threshold.)
Given the rising number of COVID-19 cases, both in the UK and around the globe, it isn't surprising that the Queen and Prince Philip are taking extra precautions. Both are considered at heightened risk for the virus due to age: the Queen celebrated her 94th birthday last April, while Philip turned 99 in June.
Philip is retired from his duties as a working royal, but the Queen is very much still at work, even if her day-to-day looks very different these days due to the pandemic. After several months away, she began to return to a semblance of normalcy this fall, attending a few socially-distanced, in-person events, but notably, she's yet to return to London's Buckingham Palace, her main home and the seat of the monarchy.
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