Inside Queen’s Christmas at Windsor Castle – visitors, festive lunch and cancelled traditions


The Queen has been forced to cancel her annual trip to Sandringham for Christmas and will instead be spending the big day at Windsor Castle for the second year in a row. Here we take a look at how she might be celebrating and who with…

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Queen to miss Sandringham Christmas as she cancels plans

For the second year running, the Queen will be spending Christmas at Windsor Castle due to soaring Covid rates.

With this festive season being the first without the late Prince Philip by her side, Her Majesty had planned a big family get-together.

It was set to take place at the traditional venue of Sandringham and just weeks ago, the monarch was said to be looking forward to hosting the family.

But yesterday, it was revealed that after “careful consideration”, the Queen would be staying put at Windsor to reflect a “precautionary approach” to the pandemic.

So what will the Queen’s Christmas now look like? Here we take a look…


The Queen, who is celebrating Christmas at Windsor again this year


Sky News via Getty Images)

Of course, this year is the Queen’s first festive season without her beloved husband Philip, who died in April aged 99.

But unlike last year, when the pair celebrated Christmas just the two of them privately – the Queen is hoping to see family members so she is not alone.

That’s because it is thought family will visit Windsor over the festive period with all appropriate guidelines followed – suggesting numbers will be scaled back.

So who will be these visitors?

It’s not yet known who will be visiting the Queen over Christmas



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It’s not yet confirmed if these visitors will include Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall or the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children.

According to the Daily Mail, Prince William and Kate are understood to be celebrating the festive season at Anmer Hall in Norfolk with Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

However, relatives that do live very close to Windsor include Prince Andrew, who stays close by at Royal Lodge, so could be likely to visit.

As is Prince Edward, his wife Sophie and their children Lady Louise and Viscount Severn, who are also just a short ride away at Bagshot Park.

Church service

The royals leave church on Christmas Day at Sandringham in 2017


AFP via Getty Images)

One of the highlights of a royal Christmas is seeing the family members make their way to church at Sandringham on Christmas morning.

This didn’t take place last year and for a second-year running, it will also be scrapped.

On Sunday, rather than attend church, Her Majesty is believed to have worshipped privately at Windsor Castle.

And it could be that she does the same again on Christmas Day so she can avoid mixing with others.

Christmas lunch

The Queen gives her Christmas message in 2019


POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

When it comes to enjoying her Christmas lunch, the Queen probably won’t be joined by a huge number of family members.

Instead, it is likely to be a smaller affair after she also cancelled her annual lunch with extended members of her family.

However, according to one royal expert, it is very unlikely that the Queen will be eating alone.

Author Katie Nicholl told True Royalty TV’s The Royal Beat: “The idea that the Queen will be on her own for Christmas without Philip, I simply cannot believe the family will allow it to happen.”

The huge Christmas tree in St George’s Hall in Windsor Castle



And fellow royal expert Richard Kay writes in the Daily Mail : “Make no mistake the disappointment will be crushing. For all the good intentions, the Queen will be bitterly sorry that she will not be celebrating Christmas this year at Sandringham.

“It is not just the fact that, for the second year running, she will be absent from the Norfolk estate which is home to so many of her most treasured Christmas memories, but also that she will be deprived once again of the company of many of her family.”

Christmas message

However, one tradition that will still be going ahead this Christmas is the broadcast of the Queen’s annual festive message.

It is usually filmed a few weeks before Christmas, rather than being live on the day.

Last year, extra precaution were taken to ensure it was recorded in a Covid-safe way – and these might have remained again this year.

In her Christmas broadcast, Her Majesty is expected to herald the indomitable spirit of the British people.

A source said: “The Queen believes we are all in this together and we should all abide by the public health guidelines to keep each other safe.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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