Queen Elizabeth is among many who are canceling holiday plans amid COVID concerns. According to a Buckingham Palace source, the queen called off her annual family lunch as a precaution against the virus. 

‘It Is The Right Thing To Do’

“The decision is a precautionary one as it is felt to put too many people’s Christmas arrangements at risk if it went ahead,” the source said. “While there is regret that it is canceled, there is a belief it is the right thing to do for all.”

While the lunch usually takes place at Buckingham Palace, the family was going to gather at Windsor Castle this year, where the queen has been staying during the pandemic. Buckingham Palace has not publicly commented on the cancelation. 

The royal family isn’t the only one calling off social engagements due to COVID fears. England’s chief medical officer warned the public not to mix with others in the days leading up to Christmas after the UK recorded its most daily cases since the beginning of the pandemic. 

This will be the queen’s first Christmas without her late husband, Prince Philip, who passed away in April of this year. The two had been married for more than 70 years. “Whatever her private grief is, she wants to get on in as cheerful a way as possible,” an insider told People.

Duke And Duchess Of Sussex Will Not Be Attending

That’s not the only face that will be missing from the royal family’s holiday celebrations. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will not be celebrating Christmas with the family, even though an invitation was extended to them. Instead, the couple will stay in California for a lowkey holiday with children Archie and Lilibet. 

Queen Elizabeth will soon travel to her Sandringham estate for Christmas, where the rest of the royal family will join her. The traditional celebration will see family members arriving on Christmas Eve, opening their presents later that night. On Christmas Day, the royals attend church services at St. Mary’s Magdalene Church, then head home for private festivities. Many see her holiday plans as a sign that she is on the mend after a series of health scares. 

The queen was hospitalized in October and, after being told to rest by doctors, canceled several public engagements. She also pulled out of an appearance at Remembrance Day in November after spraining her back. 

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