The Cambridges & other royals are cancelling holiday plans to be with the Queen

Audience at Buckingham Palace

On Thursday, Queen Elizabeth cancelled her pre-Christmas luncheon at Windsor Castle. Usually, the lunch happens at Buckingham Palace, but she cancelled everything last year because of the pandemic, and then this year, the Omicron variant has come to play, so of course the Queen and her advisors thought it would be unwise to have a gathering of 50-plus royals. Incidentally, doesn’t it feel like this week the conversation has gone from “the Omicron variant is dangerous, be on alert” to “holy sh-t, everyone is getting Covid now, there are so many breakthrough cases and everything needs to be cancelled”? The truth is that people should still get their boosters and wear masks and social-distance when possible and those are still the best solutions. But yeah, the numbers are f–king STARK. Anyway, it seems like Omicron has changed all of the royal Christmas plans:

Senior royals including Kate Middleton and Prince William have reportedly ditched all their plans ahead of Christmas so they can spend time with the Queen as Omicron cases surge. Daily Covid infections hit a pandemic high yesterday with 88,376 new cases reported after Chris Witty urged Brits to “prioritise social interactions that really matter to them” or risk catching the virus.

Kate and Wills, Prince Charles and Camilla, Princess Anne, Prince Edward and wife Sophie have now decided to cancel their festive plans to ensure they can be with the Queen on Christmas Day, reports the Mirror. It’s understood they’ve agreed to reduce all but essential contacts ahead of the big day.

Their decision comes after the Queen decided to pull the plug on her annual pre-Christmas family lunch because of the rapid spread of Omicron. The decision to axe the traditional meal for up to 50 at Windsor Castle was made in a bid to keep the family apart — in the hope that a big festive bash can go ahead at Sandringham.

As she faces her first Christmas without Prince Philip, senior aides say her plans “continue to be under review” and a decision is expected next week. But some insiders believe the Queen will end up staying at Windsor for the festive season.

Dickie Arbiter, the Queen’s former press secretary, said: “The luncheon is very important to the Queen because it is the one time of the year when the whole extended family gets together. Having cancelled this lunch I’d be very surprised if she decamped and took her family to Sandringham. Windsor has been a secure bubble since the start of the pandemic. The Queen leads by example and expects the rest of the family to follow suit. In this very infectious time it is better to be safe than sorry.”

[From The Sun]

I do feel a bit sorry for the Queen, just because we got the sense that she was really looking forward to having family around during the holiday season, and it IS her first Christmas as a widow. I wonder if she will decide to stay at Windsor for Christmas. My first thought was about food, because my first thoughts are always about food. But Sandringham staff were obviously preparing to host the family for Christmas, so what happens to all that food? Is it driven down to Windsor? Does the staff get to eat it? Methinks William and Kate will be very mad if they have to spend Christmas Day in Windsor as well.

The British Royals leave Buckingham Palace for Xmas lunch with HRH The Queen.

cambridge christmas bake

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid.

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44 Responses to “The Cambridges & other royals are cancelling holiday plans to be with the Queen”

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  1. kelleybelle says:

    I’m sorry, but those unfortunate Windsor looks. He is getting the face he deserves.

    And Queenie, if I see one more “quirky,” asymmetrical hat I will choke, sorry. I guess they have to find a way to at least add some interest to her?

  2. MerlinsMom1018 says:

    The conspiracy theorist in me thinks maybe Her Maj is…not doing good at all? This sounds a summoning of the troops than a “family” get together since it only includes the most senior royals? (Is Anne included as a senior royal? I can’t keep up)

    • JerseyCow says:

      Totally agree. I commented a while back that imo TQ’s sicker than is being let on and that I doubt she’ll go to Sandringham for xmas.

    • Keroppi says:

      I agree. All signs seem to be pointing that way.

    • Lucy says:

      That’s my gut feel as well. My great grandmother used to decide she was dying every few years. The only cure was for all her kids to gather and sing a few hymns (they were grown men in their 60’s), then she’d get cured and cook a big dinner. This feels like, at the very least, a hymn situation, if not more serious.

      • KFG says:

        I think she has COVID19. I think she is super sick and won’t make it past January. This is why all the ready to be king and stepping up bs is being rolled out.

      • Julia K says:

        Ok, Lucy, you win. I sat here alone and laughed out loud. That was my mother in laws MO. Thanks for the memories.

    • Monica says:

      Exactly. No need to read tea leaves.

    • Polo says:

      Look I’m alll for good conspiracies lol but she was seen hosting a sultan just a few days ago. I think she’s fine but with the country in shambles because of all the illegal Christmas parties they had last year. This was probably the best decision especially after Boris had to cancel this years Christmas party.
      People in the Uk are pretty pissed right now. Imagine the royal family then hosting a Christmas party in the midst of it. I also think that the Christmas walk and all it’s hoopla may be significantly toned down.

      • MerlinsMom1018 says:

        I agree she could be up dancing till 3 a.m. and swigging gin straight from the bottle for all I know, just my take on it is all

      • Becks1 says:

        She’s only meeting in person with the people that she basically has to meet with, like the Sultan. she can’t meet with him over zoom, lol. All of the Ambassador meetings are still on Zoom and she hasn’t done an event outside of Windsor Castle in months.

        I’m not sure what’s going on, but I don’t think she’s fine, I’m just not sure if she’s doing any worse than the average 95 year old. but I do think the palace is covering up the extent of her frailty.

    • TigerMcQueen says:

      If she’s not actively ill, I think TQ has declined enough in recent months that they think this will be her last Christmas. Or it could be an excuse for Elegant Bill and Mutton Buttons to not do anything in the next week or so before the actual holiday. I guess we’ll see if other senior royals isolate. Someone below mentioned a thing Zara has in Australia, and I agree that if she cancels that, it’s a tell.

      Of course, I have a 90-something relative who has been ill enough for the past five Christmases that we think ‘this is the last’ but she keeps hanging on.

      • JanetDR says:

        Mutton Buttons! 😂😂😂 Love it. I don’t have a clue one way or the other on the situation, but not gathering is what most people I know are doing.

  3. Rapunzel says:

    Once again, the Windsors wanting cookies for doing the right thing.

    • Barbie1 says:

      Right. They should have included her in their holiday plans from the start. Covid or no covid. She is 95 after all.

      • Tia says:

        Yep heck I bet if Harry could, he’d let his grandmother spend Christmas with them. (I wish though that would’ve been cool. Just her, the Spencers, Doria, Meg, and the kids.)

  4. Becks1 says:

    Translation: dont expect to see the Cambridges working between now and Christmas.

    I think it will be interesting to see if she actually goes to Sandringham or not for the holidays and then what the rest of the royals do. If the Sandringham staff is already in a bubble in preparation for her stay, then they may stick with the usual plan, or they may decide its better for all involved to just have her stay at Windsor, and maybe have a smaller family GTG on Christmas.

  5. Mac says:

    It seems to me dropping plans to be with the queen is the opposite of protecting her from Covid.

  6. 809Matriarch says:

    This is just so funny. The way the UK press and trolls hammered H&M about not spending holidays with Betty – now nobody is.

  7. Jaded says:

    I too think the Queen is a whole lot sicker than anyone is letting on and Omicron is an excuse to deflect from it. This may be her last Christmas and the family will need to spend time individual time with her.

    • anotherlily says:

      If the Queen is declining rapidly she will want to see her children but not necessarily her grandchildren or all her extended family. It will be those closest to her who will be prepared to go to Windsor including Sophie Wessex and Sarah Chatto. According to the latest reports the Cambridges are going to Norfolk for Christmas.

      The recent meeting with the Sultan of Oman shows the Queen looking extremely thin and frail. I don’t think she will be hosting any large scale Christmas gathering.

  8. Amy Bee says:

    Doesn’t the entire family come out or get together for Trooping as well? The Christmas luncheon is really about providing pictures to the press during one of the periods of the year when the Royal Family is the least visible. Same goes for the Christmas Day Walk. I think the Queen moving Christmas from Windsor Castle to Sandringham years ago was to provide more access to the press.

    • Lionel says:

      They definitely play the press game, but I think the Q insists on Christmas at Sandringham because that’s what her dad did. Her dad loved Sandringham, he was born there during Victoria’s reign, spent most of his childhood there during Edward VII’s and much of his adulthood during George V’s, and eventually he died there as King himself. A morbid part of me thinks that the Q would like to die there too as her father and grandfather did. But regardless, BRF traditions around Christmas are LITERALLY unchanged since the Victorian era. That’s why they all seem so weird!

      • Becks1 says:

        It is a tradition, but the Queen didn’t start the whole big Christmas-at-Sandringham thing with the church walk and all of that until 1988. Before that it was at Windsor mostly, I guess once in a while at Sandringham (according to the royal family website). Apparently they went to Sandringham one year and had such a good time that it became their christmas “thing.”

  9. Moderatelywealthy says:

    Did Zara cancel her equestrian PR stuff in Australia?

    If that happens, then I will be sure TQ is seriously ill because you dont get between a Royal and money, only TQ has this sort of Power in that family.

    If not, then TQ is the same, old as dust, but still going despite deteriorating health and this is but a PR move to gather sympathy because, lets face, all these people would have to go and kiss the ring one way or the other.

  10. Coley says:

    It’s good PR because our prime minister and his government have been exposed as having parties while the rest of us were in isolation last Christmas. The Queen is playing her hand well here.

  11. What says:

    Meghan has been spotted. This has knocked the Cambridges out of the tabloids. Kate released her trailer for her knockoff Xmas special which is already at the bottom of the daily fail while the rota is focusing on what Meghan wore. Who’s winning again

  12. C-Shell says:

    England is a mess right now, on every front, yet the BRF festive plans are the distraction. On the one hand, having even a scaled down family gathering for the 95-year old, newly widowed Queen seems plausible, on the other, the potential of exposing her to Omicron is high. Hopefully, they’ll practice social distancing at the very least — not that they’re physically demonstrative in any case.

  13. Layla says:

    Are the Covid cases as bad in the U.S. as they are here in the U.K.? Today they announced over 93,000 cases!

    • Eurydice says:

      We don’t have a number for today yet, but it was about 146,000 yesterday. The US has about 5 times more population than the UK. But, we’ll see – it takes a while for it to spread across a whole continent. New York and New Jersey seem to be the hardest hit by Omicron, so far.

  14. Robin Samuels says:

    I don’t believe it was confirmed when the tabloid printed the story about a luncheon, Sandringham, or the church walk. They have not mentioned her presentation of the annual address. I won’t say she’s critically ill, but I don’t know if she’s in the best of health. The push to make W&K look prepared to lead is not coincidental. I won’t be surprised if she abdicates this year.