Queen Elizabeth cancels traditional Christmas plans amid omicron surge

LONDON – Many in the UK are hoping for a relatively normal Christmas this year despite the raging Covid-19 pandemic, but the most famous resident has already changed her traditional plans.

Queen Elizabeth II will not be spending the festive season at the Sandringham estate in east England, a senior Buckingham Palace source said Monday as cases of the highly contagious omicron variant continue to spread.

Download the. down NBC news app for breaking news and politics

Instead, the 95-year-old monarch will stay at Windsor Castle, about 25 miles west of London, where she spent most of the pandemic. It is the second year in a row that she has canceled her usual trip to the Sandringham Estate, as well as a traditional family dinner.

The royal family spent the holidays in Sandringham, Norfolk, east England for years, where crowds gather to watch them visit the local church on Christmas Day.

The UK is in the midst of a huge spike in Covid infections, with 584,000 positive cases reported in the last week, a 63 percent increase from the previous seven days. according to official information.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Monday that more new restrictions may be needed to combat the surge – but he stopped repeating the 2020 Christmas lockdown, which forced many to cancel plans at the last minute.

“We must reserve the opportunity to take further action to protect the public, public health and the NHS [National Health Service]and we will not hesitate to take these steps, “he said.

The queen has cut back on travel and work since she spent a night in the hospital in October and was told by her doctors to rest. Since then, she has taken on light duties, including virtual audiences with diplomats and weekly meetings with the Prime Minister.

This marks the Queen’s first Christmas since the death of her 73-year-old husband Prince Philip in April at the age of 99. The royal couple spent their last Christmas together in Windsor last year.

Associated press contributed.

Leave a Comment