This is the first Christmas that the Queen will be celebrating without her husband, Prince Philip, who passed away in April. However, it turns out that another close family member will also be missing from the intimate royal festivities this year—the Queen’s only daughter, Princess Anne.
Missing out on Christmas
On 22 December, Mail Online revealed that the royal will be staying away from the Queen as her husband, Sir Timothy Laurence, has been infected with the coronavirus. The 66-year-old vice-admiral is currently in isolation at the Gatcombe Park estate and is recovering from the illness. To avoid any risk of contamination, especially given the old age of the Queen, the Princess has also decided to stay in isolation—a decision that is definitely going to weigh down on the lonely Queen. An insider told Mail Online:
It's true, Covid is unfortunately on the estate. It means therefore that those in the Royal Household are having to isolate for the time being.
This is the second time the monarch had to reconsider her plans because of the coronavirus crisis. Every year, she invites the British royal family to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s Eve in Sandringham, but this time around she has decided to stay in Windsor and invite only the ‘inner’ core of the family to the castle.
In an attempt to keep the family gathering as safe as possible, Kate Middleton, Prince William, Prince Charles, Camilla, Prince Edward and his wife Sophie, have all committed to limiting the number of people they see before spending Christmas Eve with the head of the family.
As Dickie Arbiter, the Queen’s former press secretary, told The Sun, this is a very special time for the royal family as it’s the ‘one time of the year’ where the whole family can get together. It is for this reason that the Queen has decided to stay in Windsor, that has been her ‘safety bubble’ since the beginning of the pandemic.