Queen Elizabeth has not done an event in public since mid-October. Now, she has been doing “events” and she’s been seen in photos and videos, almost exclusively from Windsor Castle. For nearly two full months, everything has been very carefully stage-managed around the Queen, especially following her hospitalization and subsequent cover-up of the hospitalization. It was said that staffers cleaned the Queen’s schedule, but she had some “light duties,” mostly meeting people one-on-one at Windsor. It feels like the Christmas season might be too overloaded for her, but Buckingham Palace insists that the Queen plans to play host at a pre-Christmas luncheon and then she’ll host the family gathering at Sandringham.
The Queen is set to enjoy a ‘new normal’ Christmas this year -and may even appear in public for the first time since early autumn. The 95-year-old monarch has either been resting or undertaking only ‘light’ desk duties following a mystery health scare. But she has been given the go-ahead by doctors to throw her annual private pre-festive season party for extended family members for the first time since 2019, the Mail can reveal.
This year, however, it will take place at Windsor Castle and not Buckingham Palace, where it has traditionally been held for several decades. The Queen has lived in Berkshire since the start of the pandemic and has rarely set foot out of it in recent months. But she will move her court to her Sandringham Estate in Norfolk for Christmas, where her nearest and dearest are all set to gather in time for Christmas Eve – as long as government advice does not change. Her Majesty is expected to fly to East Anglia by helicopter, rather than take the train as she normally does, in light of her age and general health.
Before she does, she will record her annual Christmas message, again at Windsor. It is likely to reflect on her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, who died aged 99 in April, as well as the ‘heartening’ show of community strength seen throughout the nation during the Covid pandemic.
The Mail understands that palace aides are also exploring options for the monarch to appear in public over the next two weeks to wish the country a very happy Christmas. Although photographs and videos have been released by Buckingham Palace of the sovereign undertaking in-person and virtual audiences with foreign ambassadors, dignitaries and the Prime Minister, all meetings have taken place behind palace walls. The hope is that the Queen will be well enough to take part in a short public engagement in the castle grounds. Her appearance will be seen as a ‘small shot of joy’ in difficult times.
‘It won’t be a normal Christmas, but like many families around the country, it will be as normal as it can get,’ a source said.
Even if the Queen does something outside of castle walls, it’s still going to be stage-managed to a crazy degree. There’s no way anyone will allow the Queen to… what? Wander around a Christmas garden party? Do some kind of event in London? I doubt that will happen. They’re probably trying to “save” the Queen for her Christmas speech and that will be the only time anyone sees her. I also think that it’s a good sign that she’s “hosting” the pre-Christmas luncheon, even though everything’s been moved to Windsor. We’ll see.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.