Christmas might not be such a lonely time for the Queen after all. Her eldest son Prince Charles is planning a visit to Windsor Castle so that he can see his parents over Christmas, sources have told Vanity Fair.
Charles has decided that with the traditional Sandringham celebrations canceled, he will celebrate Christmas with Camilla at their Gloucestershire home before travelling to Windsor for a second Christmas celebration with the Queen and Prince Philip, who are self-isolating at Windsor Castle.
Courtiers are relieved that the Queen and the Duke, who were preparing for a much quieter Christmas than usual will be able to see some family members, and Charles is expected to be one of the first to visit even if it will be a socially distanced visit.
Meanwhile the Duchess of Cornwall will head to her home Ray Mill in Wiltshire, where Camilla hosts a Christmas lunch for her children Tom and Laura and her grandchildren every year after the traditional Christmas Day feast at Sandringham. When Camilla heads to Ray Mill House Charles plans to travel to Windsor Castle to pay his parents a brief festive visit.
From December 23 to 27, rules around social-distancing will be relaxed across the UK so that up to three households can mingle.
The Covid pandemic has upended the royals’ traditional plans for Christmas, when all of the family head to the royal estate of Sandringham for the festivities. Buckingham Palace announced this week that the Queen has decided to cancel Christmas at Sandringham for the first time in 33 years.
The Queen and Prince Philip are said to have resigned themselves to a quiet Christmas at the castle, but hope some family members will be able to visit them in keeping with the official guidelines. Charles, who had Covid in April, will be among several family members to visit. Prince Edward and his family are also expected to see the Queen who is being cared for by a bubble of staff at the castle.
The Queen will be filming this year’s Christmas broadcast from the castle, where she has recorded two other broadcasts this year for the first time in her reign. Usually the royals gather to watch the Queen’s speech after Christmas lunch before playing parlor games and enjoying another candle lit supper.
It will be the first Christmas the Queen and Philip have spent on their own since 1949, when they spent Christmas alone in Malta where the Duke was serving with the Royal Navy.
Over the past nine months the Queen and Philip have spent more time together than in recent years. Usually Philip resides at Wood Farm on the Sandringham estate while the Queen divides her time between London and Windsor but they have spent most of this year together at the castle.
This article has been updated.
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