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The Queen will be skipping Christmas at her Sandringham estate for the second year in a row due to a spike in Covid-19 cases.
The monarch will instead remain at Windsor Castle, where she spent last year's holiday season with her now late husband, Prince Philip. A royal insider revealed that the decision was made after "careful consideration" and that it "reflects a precautionary approach." Despite skipping festivities at her Norfolk estate, the source said that various members of the royal family will still visit her over the holidays while following all the appropriate public health guidelines.
Usually, the royals come together annually at Sandringham, where they make their traditional Christmas morning walk to church, followed by a lunch at the queen's estate. Royal fans have in the past looked forward to catching a glimpse of William and Kate, as well as their children, during the public procession. Previously, Harry and Meghan have also joined in.
The rate of Covid-19 infections in the U.K. has rapidly increased since the discovery of the highly transmissible Omicron variant. Some scientific advisers and British lawmakers are calling for more action to avoid a surge that would completely overwhelm the country's healthcare system. This past weekend, London Mayor Sadiq Khan has declared a "major incident," or an emergency status, in the capital city for the first time since January.
This Christmas also marks Queen Elizabeth's first without Prince Philip, who passed at age 99 this past April.
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