Where does the Queen spend Christmas?December 3, 2020
ROYAL aides have drawn up plans for the Queen’s Christmas dinner and who will get an invite this year.
Things will look very different due to the coronavirus restrictions and Prince Andrew may not get an invite.
Where will the Queen spend Christmas in 2020?
It has been announced that Her Majesty, 94, has cancelled her usual festive break at Sandringham, and instead will have a “quiet” time at Windsor Castle.
A spokesperson said: "Having considered all the appropriate advice, The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh have decided that this year they will spend Christmas quietly in Windsor."
This will be the first time in 33 years that the Queen won’t be going to Sandringham, where she typically celebrates with her large extended family.
And their popular traditions of a boxing day shoot and big family charade games are also likely to be off the agenda.
Brits have been told that three households will be able to meet up inside for five days over Christmas – and the Queen has to follow the rules too.
Royal expert Phil Dampier told Fabulous: “She’ll be devastated she can’t spend it with the family. They sometimes have up to over 30 people.
“One year it was so crowded that some of the royals have had to stay in servant’s quarters and servants have had to move out to other accommodation for the royals to stay at Sandringham.
“They couldn’t have a lot of people though as it would set a bad example to the rest of the country.
“Ironically it will be a time for the extended royals to spend time with their other families.”
A 20ft Christmas tree has been installed for the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh to enjoy over the festive period together.
A gigantic Norwegian Spruce tree, taken from Windsor Great Park and dressed in 3,000 lights and hundreds of iridescent glass, red and gold mirrored ornaments, has pride of place in the historic St George's Hall, the castle's largest room.
Visitors to Windsor Castle will see the State Apartments transformed with shimmering Christmas trees, twinkling lights and festive garlands.
And as a special touch this year at Windsor, to mark the bicentenary of George IV’s accession to the throne in 1820, the State Dining Room table will be laid with a spectacular display of his silver-gilt Grand Service.
Where does the Queen normally spend Christmas?
The Queen usually spends Christmas at Sandringham, with her family.
Phil said Christmas is one of the Queen’s favourite times of the year, and her favourite pastime is playing games on Christmas Eve.
He said: “What she also loves is on Christmas night they gather and play games. They play charades, blind man’s buff.
“Certainly in the past she would do impressions of people she’d met like Bill Clinton.”
When the family are at Sandringham, they like to step out on Boxing Day for a shoot – so this will be off the agenda for 2020.
Phil said: “In the German tradition, Christmas Eve is the big event. The royals have a big black tie dinner.
“They normally open their presents in the afternoon, and then they get checked for dinner and have a big dinner on Christmas Eve.
“Lunch on Christmas Day is a traditional lunch but is not quite such a big event for them."
Will Meghan Markle and Prince Harry be there?
Harry and Meghan have already ruled themselves out saying they expect to be back in the UK for New Year.
It’s thought the pair will instead spend the day with Harry’s “surrogate” dad David Foster.
Meghan is apparently excited to host the Christmas holiday at her home and do the cooking, and the Royal Family is "not in the plan," according to The Mirror
An unnamed source told the Sun on Sunday: "Meghan very much wants to host the first Christmas at their new home with her mum.
"She’s really excited and is planning on doing all the traditions she grew up with as a child, including the cooking.
"They’ve also invited David and Katherine to spend it with them.
"David had mentioned Harry and Meghan going to theirs but Meghan wants it at home.
"They want to get on with their new lives. Christmas with Harry’s family is not in the plan."
Canadian record producer David Foster, a year younger than real dad Prince Charles, has been helping the royal couple start their life in the US.
And his wife Katherine McPhee, 36, was a friend of Meghan’s at high school in LA.
Will there be any staff this year?
Phil advised that Her Majesty has a “HMS bubble” made up of people like her dresser, Angela Kelly and Paul Whybrew, her main footman, and a small limited team.
He said: “They will be kept on at Windsor to serve them. There are a couple of chefs and housemaids.
“They’ve been alternating 12 of them on, 12 of them off.
“Her favourite servants I suspect will be there on Christmas Day. Obviously they live nearby or onsite.
“It wouldn’t be much of a hardship for them and they are devoted to her.”
Staff at Sandringham had kicked up a mini revolt complaining they are being asked to form a secure 'bubble' over Christmas.
Palace workers were angry that they could be made to work four weeks over the festive period away from their families.
The Royal Family traditionally share other presents on Christmas Eve and visit St Mary Magdalene Church in the grounds of the estate on Christmas morning.
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