Queen hoping to host family Christmas party but final decision yet to be made
The Queen is still to make a final decision on whether to hold her traditional pre-Christmas family party next week.
Plans are fully in place for the festive lunch the monarch hosts each year for her extended family, and preparations are under way.
But it is understood the Queen is still considering whether the get-together should happen amid rising Covid cases and the surge in the Omicron variant.
The Queen, 95, is due to hold the lunch next Tuesday at Windsor Castle where she has been staying for most of the pandemic, The Sun newspaper said.
Last year’s gathering was unable to take place because of the Covid-19 crisis.
Most years, the Queen invites her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren to join her at Buckingham Palace before she departs for her annual Christmas stay at Sandringham.
The Palace is undergoing major renovation works at present.
The pre-Christmas celebration gives the head of state a chance to catch up with relatives who are unable to travel to Norfolk for Christmas Day.
The wider family is also usually invited, including the Queen’s cousins – the Gloucesters, the Duke of Kent and the Michaels of Kent.
This Christmas is the Queen’s first since the death of her husband of 73 years, the Duke of Edinburgh.
She has only been carrying out light duties since October 20 when concerns for her health were heightened after royal doctors ordered her to rest and she spent a night in hospital undergoing tests.