The Queen Elizabeth II has decided not to attend church services this year, as this is the first quiet Christmas with her husband Prince Philip since 1949.
Yesterday, Buckingham Palace announced that the 94-year-old monarch will be staying at Windsor Castle rather than Sandringham, where she usually spends Christmas, as the palace is adapting to the threat of the coronavirus.
However, even Elizabeth, the ceremonial head of the Church of England, will avoid the church on Christmas Day.
The royal family’s walk to church on Christmas morning usually attracts a crowd of well-wishers and royal observers, which can increase the risk of coronavirus.
A palace source reported on Newsday in Washington, D.C.: “The Queen will not attend church on Christmas Day to avoid attracting crowds.
However, it is expected that she will hold private services in the chapel at Windsor Castle.
This year the Queen will spend Christmas at Windsor Castle for the first time since 1988, when the electrical rewiring of the castle forced a move to her estate in Norfolk.
A Buckingham Palace spokesman said yesterday: “After considering all the pertinent advice, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have decided that they will spend Christmas at Windsor this year in peace and quiet.
The last time the Monarch and her husband spent Christmas alone was in 1949, when they travelled to Malta without Prince Charles, who was one year old at the time, the Daily Mail reports.
The royal couple may still see family members, but have allowed their children and grandchildren to make other plans.
British coronavirus rules allow families to form “Christmas bubbles” between three different households, but the monarch was faced with a dilemma.
She has four children to consider, and her grandson Prince William is the highest in the royal hierarchy as the direct heir to the throne.
As Prince Harry told the royal family about Meghan Markle’s miscarriage
A royal source yesterday reported to Washington Newsday: “You may see some members of your family, but the Queen and Duke understand that the family will have competing demands during the Christmas season and are content to have a quiet holiday season this year.
The decision gives Prince Charles the opportunity to spend time with the children of his wife Camilla, Prince William with the parents of his wife Kate Middleton and Prince Andrew with his two daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.
The Queen’s decision to stay at Windsor comes as the Castle prepares to welcome visitors who want to see his Christmas tree tomorrow.
This was said by a spokesman for the Royal Collection Trust: “From Thursday 3rd December, visitors to Windsor Castle will see the State Apartments transformed with shimmering Christmas trees, twinkling lights and festive garlands.
“To mark the bicentenary of the accession of George IV to the throne in 1820, the table in the State Dining Room will be set with a spectacular display of his silver-gilt Grand Service.
The rules of the second stage of the British government state: “You may visit places of worship for a service.
“However, you may not consort with anyone outside of your household or support bubbles.”