The Queen’s Covid Christmas: Her Majesty misses out on Windsor Castle service at St George’s Chapel attended by Charles and Camilla, Edward and Sophie – who will join her later for first festive meal since Philip’s death
- The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall have arrived at St George’s Chapel for a service
- The Queen will remain indoors at Windsor Castle while royals attend the Christmas Matins in Windsor
- Sophie and Edward were accompanied by their daughter Lady Louise and son James, Viscount Severn
- The monarch has this year shelved her customary trip to Sandringham as a ‘precautionary’ measure
The Queen has missed out this morning on a service at Windsor Castle as she remained indoors while royals including Charles and Camilla, Edward and Sophie arrived at St George’s Chapel.
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, the Earl and Countess of Wessex and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester met the Dean of Windsor outside the chapel ahead of the Christmas Matins service.
Sophie and Edward were accompanied by their daughter Lady Louise and son James, Viscount Severn. It is understood the Queen’s absence from the service is a personal choice and follows a precautionary approach seen over the last six months.
The service, which is ticketed, is attended by residents of the Windsor estate and members of the chapel congregation.
The monarch is expected to be joined at Windsor Castle by Charles and Camilla, having shelved her customary trip to Sandringham as a ‘precautionary’ measure amid rising coronavirus cases.
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, the Earl and Countess of Wessex and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester have arrived for the Christmas Matins service in Windsor Castle
Sophie and Edward were accompanied by their daughter Lady Louise and son James, Viscount Severn. The royals were greeted at the entrance by the Dean of Windsor before moving inside for the morning service
It is understood the Queen’s absence from the service is a personal choice and follows a precautionary approach seen over the last six months
Meanwhile, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be spending the festive season in Norfolk, where they will be joined by some members of the Middleton family.
They will also be joined by their three children, George, eight, Charlotte, six, and Louis, three. It is believed they will all spend the holiday season at Anmer Hall, in William and Kate’s home on the Sandringham estate.
It is not known which members of Kate’s family will be staying with them.
The Cambridges have not celebrated Christmas with the Middletons since 2016, when William, Kate, George and Charlotte visited a church in Bucklebury.
The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester arrive to attend the Christmas Day morning church service at St George’s Chapel
The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester are met by the Dean of Windsor (centre) as they arrive to attend the Christmas Day morning church service
Duke and Duchess of Gloucester arrive to attend the Christmas Day morning church service at St George’s Chapel
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall arrived at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle Saturday morning
The Duchess of Cornwall donned a blue chequered coat and a white umbrella as she arrive for the Christmas service
Camilla took out a colourful mask before entering the chapel for the Christmas Day service on Saturday
The Earl and Countess of Wessex are also expected to be with the Queen for Christmas alongside their children, James, Viscount Severn, and Lady Louise
Tom Walker performed For Those Who Can’t Be Here alongside the Duchess of Cambridge in an event broadcast last night
Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall stand next to the stunning Christmas tree at Clarence House for a photograph posted on their official Instagram account last Friday
The Queen with Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwll in Braemar in September 2019
Princess Anne and Sir Timothy Laurence, pictured at Harry and Meghan’s wedding at Windsor in 2018. Both will not be with the Queen on Christmas Day after Sir Timothy contracted Covid
Who is expected to join the Queen for lunch on Christmas Day now?
- Prince Charles
- Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall
- Prince Andrew, Duke of York
- Sarah, Duchess of York
- Princess Beatrice
- Princess Eugenie
- Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex
- Sophie, Countess of Wessex
- James, Viscount Severn
- Lady Louise Windsor
Although they will not be with the Queen on Christmas Day, William and Kate will see her over the Christmas period, reports the Mirror.
It comes as the Queen is facing her first Christmas without her late husband Prince Philip in more than 73 years, following his death in April of this year.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are also remaining stateside for the holidays, meaning the Queen will not yet meet her new granddaughter Lilibet.
The Queen will be joined on Christmas Day by Prince Charles and Camilla at Windsor Castle, in a boost for the monarch after Princess Anne had to drop out.
They are likely to be joined by Prince Andrew and his former wife, Sarah, Duchess of York, plus their two daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.
The Earl and Countess of Wessex are also expected to be there, with their children, James, Viscount Severn, and Lady Louise – but Anne will not be attending.
Clarence House confirmed yesterday that the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall would join the 95-year-old monarch at Windsor.
The plans of Charles and Camilla had been unclear until yesterday – and they spent last Christmas at Highgrove, their country estate in Gloucestershire.
But a Clarence House spokesman confirmed: ‘The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will be with Her Majesty The Queen on Christmas Day.’
It comes after the Queen received a festive blow when her son-in-law Sir Timothy Laurence contracted Covid, meaning neither he nor Anne could join her.
2019 — The Queen leaves St Mary Magdalene’s Church after a service on December 25, 2019
2018 — The Queen arrives at St Mary Magdalene’s Church in Norfolk on Christmas Day in 2018
2017 — The Queen leaves St Mary Magdalene’s Church after the Christmas Day service in 2017
A senior royal source confirmed last night: ‘Admiral Sir Tim has tested positive for Covid and is following all the appropriate rules. Christmas Day at Windsor will not be possible.’
Sir Tim is understood to have tested positive early this week, meaning that under the new seven-day rule he and the princess could travel to see the Queen after the weekend.
She usually hosts around 20 to 30 family members at her Norfolk home, with crowds of wellwishers turning out to watch the royals walk to the Christmas Day service at the church on the estate.
Sources told the Mail that the Queen, who normally stays in Norfolk until early February, could yet travel there in January.
The Queen had already decided to cancel her pre-Christmas dinner at Windsor for her extended family this week as a result of rising coronavirus cases.
And on Monday it was revealed that she had also decided to scrap plans to travel to her beloved Sandringham country estate in Norfolk for Christmas.
Sources indicated that the Queen felt it was ‘too difficult’ for her family and staff to move between residences safely bearing in mind pleas from the Government for the public to be cautious.
One said: ‘Her Majesty always leads by example.’
Instead she plans to spend her Christmas quietly at Windsor, her first without husband Philip.
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