Where is the Queen spending Christmas this year – and why isn't she at Sandringham?

The Queen has announced that it will not be spending Christmas at the Royal Family Estate in Sandringham, as is the family tradition.

Amid concerns over the rising number of Omicron cases, the monarch will not be making her way to Sandringham for Christmas, despite being visited by some family members.

Where is the Queen spending Christmas this year – and why isn’t she spending it in Sandringham?

READ MORE: The Queen Makes Big Changes To Her Christmas Plans At Her Sandringham Estate As Omicron Rises

Where does the Queen spend Christmas?

Buckingham Palace says the Queen will be spending Christmas at Windsor Castle and family members will be visiting on Christmas Day.

She was expected to greet around 50 relatives – including Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall – for a traditional pre-Christmas lunch at Windsor Castle this week, but the event has been canceled.

It is not yet known which family members will visit the Queen in Windsor over the Christmas season, but palace sources say appropriate precautions will be taken.

Why isn’t the Queen in Sandringham for Christmas?

Concerns about the Queen’s health and the wider pandemic – with cases of Omicron in the UK rising sharply – are believed to be behind the decision not to travel to Sandringham.

The palace says this decision is in line with the “precautionary approach” the monarch, now 95, has taken throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Traditionally, the Queen and other members of the royal family greet well-wishers at St Mary Magdalene’s Church in Sandringham, but it is now unlikely that there will be a public royal church visit on Christmas Day.

Where is Sandringham?

Sandringham is a village in Norfolk. Sandringham House, one of the Queen’s royal residences, is nearby.

A mansion was first built on this site during the reign of Elizabeth I, but the mansion that is there today dates from the late 19th century.

The wider Sandringham estate covers approximately 20,000 acres.

It was a popular vacation home of George VI, the father of the current monarch, who died there in 1952. He then bequeathed it to his daughter, for whom it was also a popular holiday home.

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