The Queen is suffering the consequences of the stringent measures in place to curb the daily numbers of coronavirus cases much like any other person in the UK. The monarch has already decided neither she nor her family will head to St Mary Magdalene Church on Christmas Day to avoid the usual mass gathering of royal fans hoping to catch a glimpse of the royals in Sandringham.
But she is still hoping to be able to host at Sandringham House her children and grandchildren in the annual three-day get-together, according to the Daily Express royal correspondent Richard Palmer.
Earlier this month, Prime Minister Boris Johnson hinted earlier this month he could suspend the Rule of Six, which allows people living in Tier 1 areas to meet inside with a maximum of five other family members or friends, in late December.
When asked if he was telling families of five they could not host both grandparents on Christmas, Mr Johnson told ITV: “We’re not saying that at all.”
Pressed on whether he would “let them off the rules”, Mr Johnson said: “Listen to me, we’re doing everything we can, everything we can to make sure Christmas for everybody is as normal as possible.”
Asked which criteria needed to be met to lift this rule, Mr Johnson said: “The answer is that we have to get the R, the reproduction rate of the virus, below 1.
“The best way to get the R below 1… and I totally understand people feel things are inconsistent.
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“If we can just follow that guidance… then we can get the R down… I ask people to stick with it if you possibly can.”
Speaking about the Queen’s plans for Christmas, a royal source said: “We will simply follow government guidance.”
Lockdown measures have hit many families in the run-up to religious holidays in 2020.
At the end of July, Health Secretary Matt Hancock barred households from mixing indoors in Manchester, parts of Lancashire and parts of West Yorkshire as Muslims were preparing to celebrate Eid.
In September, Jewish families had to adapt to COVID-19 regulations to celebrate the High Holy Days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.
The Queen usually works in London until late December, before heading to Norfolk on the royal train, destination King’s Lynn.
Last year, the Queen arrived at Sandringham House on the same day her husband Prince Philip was being helicoptered to London to be hospitalised for a few days.
On normal circumstances, members of the Royal Family closest to the elderly royals would arrive at Sandringham House on Christmas Eve, where they exchange presents and have dinner together.
On Christmas Day, they would walk to church together, met by jubilant royal fans.
Those royal relatives who can’t make it to Sandringham are usually invited to a lunch held at Buckingham Palace in mid-December.
The coronavirus pandemic has also affected Prince Philip and the Queen’s summer break.
While at Balmoral, the royals could not host at their main house their guests and needed to social distance from them.
Among those who travelled to Scotland to see the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, there have been the Cambridges, the Wessexes and Princess Eugenie with Jack Brooksbank.