By Claire Gordon • 19 December 2021 • 14:18
The Queen has been advised to cancel one of her annual traditions overs fears that it may become a super spreader event for Covid-19. The Royal Family’s famous Christmas Day walkabout looks set to be cancelled this year as the Omicron variant racks up record numbers of cases across the UK.
The monarch is being advised to close the gates to the private grounds of the Sandringham estate where the royals spend the festive season. Usually, they talk a walk from their quarters to the church on Christmas Day, while being watched and greeted by hundreds of well-wishers. Sources say that visitors may still be able to access the estate, but that the famous footpath will be locked down, reports the Mirror.
Staff say they “fully expect” public access to be denied. A source said to Mirror: “Of course everyone would love everything back to normal – but the situation is anything but.”
Buckingham Palace has stated that all of the Queen’s plans for this festive season are still under discussion. Hundreds of people usually amass on the estate, with some travelling from abroad for the chance to give the royals gifts and cards. Queues along the footpath can begin around 2 am.
If the event is prevented this year to stop it from becoming a super spreader, it will be the second year running that the fans have missed out. Last year the Queen shielded at Windsor Castle with Prince Phillip, following the coronavirus rules at the time, unable to have any visits from family.
Palace insiders say that the Queen’s plans are “still in the balance”, but her four children have begun limiting social contact so that she is not alone this Christmas, wherever she may end spending it. The Queen has already cancelled a pre-Christmas party for her extended family at Windsor to prevent another super spreader event as Omicron surges across the UK.
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