Will the Queen still do Christmas Day speech after cancelling pre-Christmas lunch?


The Queen has ‘regretfully’ cancelled the annual pre-Christmas lunch at Windsor amid rising Covid cases in the UK. But will she still do her usual Christmas Day speech?

Queen Elizabeth II is seen at the Chichester Theatre
The Queen has cancelled her traditional pre-Christmas lunch with 50 guests

The Queen was preparing to welcome 50 guests, including Prince Charles and Camilla, to a pre-Christmas lunch next week at Windsor Castle.

But with coronavirus cases increasing by more than 78,000 in 24 hours, and hitting the highest daily rise since the beginning of the pandemic, it’s been announced that the planned lunch will no longer be going ahead.

A senior place source confirmed: “The pre-Christmas family lunch will not be going ahead. 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 insider added that while there is regret over the cancellation, it’s “the right thing to do for all concerned.”

The Queen decided to cancel her pre-Christmas lunch as she felt it could put too many people’s festive plans at risk
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Image:

Getty Images)

This now marks the second year in a row that she has called off the lunch, as tougher restrictions were brought in amid the surge of the Delta Covid strain last year.

Why has the Queen cancelled the pre-Christmas family lunch?

Until recently, the monarch was said to be considering whether to go ahead with the traditional pre-Christmas family get together next week.

Now Her Majesty has decided to cancel the annual event as she felt it “could put too many people’s Christmas arrangements at risk if it went ahead.”

The monarch is still expecting to host close family over Christmas holidays
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Image:

POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

The Queen’s decision comes after Covid cases reached an all-time high of 78,610 cases in 24 hours, including 4,671 of the Omicron strain, with 165 deaths on Wednesday, December 15.

Though no restrictions have been imposed by the government on Christmas plans and mixing, Professor Chris Whitty appeared alongside Boris Johnson on Wednesday, warning people not to mix with people they don’t have to.

Mr Whitty also advised that the public “prioritise social interactions that really matter to them,” suggesting work parties should be cancelled.

Will the Queen still do a Christmas Day speech?

The Queen has not yet made an official statement regarding the Christmas Message, so for now it is assumed it will go ahead.

The Queen had been intending to go ahead with traditional Christmas plans including the pre-Christmas lunch and her annual Christmas Day speech, which she has been making nearly every year since 1952.

However, now that the lunch plans have been cancelled there is some concern over whether the traditional broadcast will follow.

Last year, the Queen pre-recorded her message in a Covid-safe way, just before tougher restrictions were brought in due to the Delta variant. It’s possible that she will record this year’s speech in a similar way.

It’s not yet confirmed whether the Queen will still do a Christmas Day Speech, but it’s understood that she is committed to hosting immediate family over the Christmas holidays at Sandringham.

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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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