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The Queen and Prince Philip will not be spending Christmas at Sandringham House for the first time in 33 years, it has been announced.
A spokesperson for Buckingham Palace announced the news, which will mean Queen Elizabeth, 94, and The Duke of Edinburgh, 99, will have a “quiet Christmas” at Windsor Castle for the first time in 33 years.
A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said this afternoon: “Having considered all the appropriate advice, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have decided that this year they will spend Christmas quietly in Windsor.”
Royal Christmas tradition usually sees the Queen hosting the festive celebrations at Sandringham, with a Boxing Day shoot and a visit to St Mary Magdalene Church.
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It remains to be seen if any other family members will join the couple. Government guidelines allow three households to mix from Wednesday 23 December to Sunday 27 December, which means The Queen and Prince Philip will be allowed to invite two other households, if they choose.
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, who recently were snapped admiring a homemade anniversary card from their grandchildren, are currently isolating at Windsor Castle, which will be a Tier-2 area after the lockdown lifts on Wednesday 3 December.
Royal editor Chris Ship has spoken out about the announcement on Twitter, as he wrote: “Royal aides say that the Queen & Prince Philip understand that their family will have “competing demands“ over Christmas.
“And as the Queen, like everyone else, will be limited to two households, she is “content to have a quiet festive season” hoping to return to normal in 2021.”
The head of state and her husband Prince Philip have spent every Christmas Day at Sandringham since 1988.
Previously, they couple spent Christmas at Windsor Castle, with the last festive season spent at the castle in 1987.
It comes after it was reported The Queen and Prince Philip have grown closer after spending time together in lockdown.
According to royal expert Kate Nicholl the couple have “rediscovered some of the happiness of their earlier years together” after being in lockdown together.
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She told 9Honey: “It was an unprecedented time, of course the Queen was working — she worked very hard everyday — but she wasn't receiving guests, wasn't taking audiences, so there was a lot more time for them to be together.
“Obviously the Queen was busy with work, I think she would breakfast and lunch alone.
“But I know, for a fact, there were quite a few occasions where they made a point of coming together for dinner at the end of the evening, dressing up and being at the dinner table, which probably hasn't been the case for quite a long time.
“It's almost like they rediscovered some of the happiness of their earlier years together.”
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