Queen Elizabeth has cancelled her traditional pre-Christmas lunch due to surging coronavirus cases in the UK.
The decision has been taken as a precaution as the 95-year monarch felt it "could put too many people's Christmas arrangements at risk if it went ahead".
A senior palace source told the Metro newspaper: "The Queen is regretful, but feels it is the right thing to do."
The event had been due to take place at Windsor Castle next week as the Queen usually hosts the lunch every year before she departs for her festive stay at Sandringham.
The Queen usually invites her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren to join her, and they're also joined by her cousins the Duke of Gloucester, the Duke of Kent and Prince Michael of Kent.
Last year's gathering was also cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Queen has missed a number of engagements in recent weeks, after going to hospital for a check-up and then spraining her back. However, it was recently revealed that she was "very much looking forward" to the annual Christmas celebrations.
A source said: "The Queen has told everyone she is feeling far better of late and is very much looking forward to welcoming them for Christmas.
"Like many other families, this will be the first time Her Majesty can gather with her extended family after being kept apart for so long due to the coronavirus pandemic."
The monarch is said to be "determined" to attend the St. Mary Magdalene church with the rest of her family on Christmas Day (25.12.21) but, as in previous years, she won't join them on their traditional walk to the 16th-century building as she is likely to be driven.