Obviously, I didn’t believe the extremely odd story about Queen Elizabeth visiting London without her cane, but I found it interesting because it had the feel of some kind of cover story. Clearly, the Queen’s courtiers want everyone to believe that QEII is hale and hearty and making jaunts to London or Sandringham whenever she feels like it. But what’s the real story? Very few people know. For now, it looks like all of the “worst case scenario” theories about the Queen’s Christmas plans are coming true. Days after she cancelled the pre-Xmas luncheon, she’s now cancelled her trip to Sandringham. She will spend Christmas at Windsor Castle.

Like millions of others, Queen Elizabeth has had to rethink her holiday plans. With COVID-19 cases rocketing in the U.K., the 95-year-old monarch has changed her arrangements for the Christmas and New Year break, opting not to head to Sandringham.

The Queen usually stays at her estate in Norfolk from late December to just after February 6 (the date she became queen at the death of her father George VI nearly 70 years ago), but with the Omicron coronavirus variant causing a surge in cases, PEOPLE has confirmed she has decided to stay at Windsor Castle.

A royal source says it was a personal decision taken after “careful consideration” and reflects an ongoing “precautionary approach.” The source added that she will be visited by various members of the family over the Christmas holiday.

The Queen’s decision means the annual family walk to church on Christmas morning, so popular with royal watchers, also will not take place this year.

While the Sandringham decision was ultimately hers, she has taken advice from her private secretaries who are in touch with the U.K. government about the ongoing rise in cases and the latest restrictions. Throughout the pandemic, she has been mindful of setting the right example within the existing guidelines.

[From People]

“She has been mindful of setting the right example within the existing guidelines…” No she hasn’t. She’s wandered around maskless for two years, she continued to travel and meet people indoors, in close proximity, and she’s traveled to Balmoral twice during the pandemic. Spare me “the Queen is mindful of the optics.” She isn’t. And I can only imagine that she was probably quite peeved to cancel her trip to Sandringham, and the decision was probably forced on her. The Queen spending Xmas at Windsor does throw a wrench into everybody else’s Christmas plans though. Will the Cambridges still go to Norfolk? Where will Charles and Camilla go? Will Windsor Christmas just be QEII and Andrew rattling around the castle?

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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