Queen Elizabeth news – Her Majesty, 95, CANCELS Christmas plans & may spend day ALONE without Royal Family for 1st time

THE QUEEN has been forced to cancel her Christmas Plans in Sandringham over Covid fears – and it could be the first EVER she has been alone.

She had hoped to celebrate the festive period at her favourite country retreat – as she has done for decades.

But instead, the monarch will stay at Windsor Castle for the second year running.

Last Christmas was the first in 32 years that Her Majesty had not been at Sandringham for the holiday.

It is not yet known who, if anyone, will join her on December 25 as family members vow to keep the head of state safe.

The Queen has already pulled the plug on her festive family party amid virus panic.

Read our royal family live blog for the latest news and updates…

  • Joseph Gamp

    Camilla spoke of her father's role during WWII

    The Duchess of Cornwall spoke of her father's role in sharing "precious news of home" with fellow prisoners of war during the Second World War as she became a patron of the British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS).

    In a video message, Camilla said she was "very proud" to take on the patronage of the military charity and media organisation.

    BFBS distributes entertainment and information services including TV, audio and digital media to UK armed forces around the world.

    Camilla praised the organisation for supporting "our service men and women wherever they may find themselves", as well as their families, "who face immense challenges".

    She said BFBS' work "raises morale, forges a sense of community and lessens the distance from loved ones".

    The duchess said: "I know a little of the importance of maintaining the connection between serving personnel and their family because during the Second World War, my father was held as a prisoner of war in Germany.

    "Officially, his role was to be the laundry officer. Unofficially, it fell to him and half a dozen others to create and listen to a very basic radio to glean precious news of home and share it with their fellow prisoners.

    "Periodic Nazi raids would locate and destroy the carefully-built wireless sets, but they were always replaced as quickly as possible – the men could cope with almost anything as long as they were not deprived of some form of contact with home."

  • Joseph Gamp

    Christmas Eve TV change

    Royal Carols: Together At Christmas, which will air on December 24 at 7.30pm on ITV, will also include a whole host of festive performances, readings and carols introduced by The Duchess of Cambridge. 

    The service was filmed on December 8, and Kate was seen wowing in a festive Catherine Walker coat with large bow detail, a red dress, and the Queen Mother’s sapphire fringe earrings loaned to her by the Queen.

    The show was switched from the BBC at the last minute following a row over the BBC Two’s The Princes And The Press, which examined William and Harry’s relationship with the media.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Prince William ‘will do what his granny asks’

    The Queen reportedly asked Prince William to stop flying in helicopters with the rest of his family over safety fears.

    And the Duke of Cambridge will likely follow his grandmother’s advice, according to royal commentator Russell Myers.

    Speaking to ITV’s This Morning, Mr Myers said: “There’s an old age rule that members of the Royal Family don’t travel together and the reason is because if disaster did strike, you would potentially have the line of succession absolutely obliterated.

    “The Queen has apparently had a quiet heard in William’s ear and said, ‘it’s about time to take your hand of the controls, split the family up when you are travelling whether it’s up to Norfolk or abroad’.

    “The reason is if with the Cambridge, unfortunately, tragedy did happen, we would see Prince Harry having to come back and take the line of succession.

    “Obviously that would be quite a hot potato with the Sussexes leaving the Royal Family and setting up home in America.

    “He’ll do what his granny asks him, I’m sure.”

  • Joseph Gamp

    Piers Morgan's Meghan comments drive record year for TV complaints

    Complaints to Ofcom increased by 124% this year, driven in part by Piers Morgan's comments about the Duchess of Sussex on Good Morning Britain.

    The broadcast in March was the most complained-about TV episode of 2021, prompting 54,595 complaints to the media watchdog.

    Morgan said he did not believe Meghan's claims about her mental health, made during her headline-grabbing interview with Oprah Winfrey. After clashing with a co-presenter, Morgan departed the programme for good.

    It was a record year for complaints, with more than 150,000 made to Ofcom. The total figure did not include complaints about the BBC, which are handled by the corporation in the first instance.

    Adam Baxter, Ofcom's director of standards and audience protection, said: "Interestingly, it's a relatively small number of TV shows driving the lion's share; the top five most-complained about programmes account for 80% of all complaints.

    "Social media – a digital home for modern-day water-cooler conversations – also has its influence on complaints figures.

    "But for me, these volumes demonstrate the British public's interest and passion for TV and radio programmes, and shows just how important they are to the cultural fabric of our nation."

  • Joseph Gamp

    Downing Street: 'Likely' PM's audience with Queen to go virtual

    Downing Street said it was likely the Prime Minister's audiences with the Queen would move to being virtual.

    Asked whether Boris Johnson would continue to meet the Queen in person, the Prime Minister's official spokesman said: "That will be a matter for the royal family.

    "I'm not aware of them not being… I think they will probably be moved virtually but that'll be a matter for the palace."

  • Milica Cosic

    Christmas speech news

    It will be her first since the death of her beloved Prince Philip – who died in April at the age of 99.

    The speech is likely to reflect on her dear late husband, as well as the ongoing strength of the nation during the pandemic.

    She’ll be surrounded by her closest family in time for Christmas Eve, according to reports.

    Palace aides are also exploring options for the monarch to appear in public over the next two weeks to wish the country a happy Christmas, reports the Mail.

  • Milica Cosic

    A more ‘formal’ Xmas celebration with Harry & Meghan

    Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will still find a way to celebrate the festive season with The Queen, an expert has claimed.

    Earlier this month, royal correspondent Neil Sean discussed how the Royal Family will be marking Christmas this year on his YouTube channel.

    Neil claimed: “There will be some gifts but it will be very formal.

    “[The Queen] is far too gracious to be childish and not include [Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in the gift package.”

    However, the expert said the gift opening would take place at “a distance” and NOT over Zoom calls.

  • Milica Cosic

    Queen’s worry over Xmas plans

    The monarch made the difficult decision last week to postpone her annual family tradition after a record number of Covid cases were recorded.

    There are fears that the Queen looks set to cancel her traditional Christmas Day walkabout over fears it could become an Omicron super-spreader.

    Her Majesty has already called off her festive family party as Covid rips through the UK.

    Covid cases have risen, with a total of 90,418 fresh infections reported in the 24 hours to December 18.

    The number of Omicron cases has also soared, trebling in 24 hours.

    If it so happens that the Christmas Day walk is off, it will be the Queen’s second festive event to be cancelled in a matter of days.

  • Milica Cosic

    Prince William 'will do what his granny asks'

    The Queen reportedly asked Prince William to stop flying in helicopters with the rest of his family over safety fears.

    And the Duke of Cambridge will likely follow his grandmother's advice, according to royal commentator Russell Myers.

    Speaking to ITV's This Morning, Mr Myers said: "There's an old age rule that members of the Royal Family don't travel together and the reason is because if disaster did strike, you would potentially have the line of succession absolutely obliterated.

    "The Queen has apparently had a quiet heard in William's ear and said, 'it's about time to take your hand of the controls, split the family up when you are travelling whether it's up to Norfolk or abroad'.

    "The reason is if with the Cambridge, unfortunately, tragedy did happen, we would see Prince Harry having to come back and take the line of succession.

    "Obviously that would be quite a hot potato with the Sussexes leaving the Royal Family and setting up home in America.

    "He'll do what his granny asks him, I'm sure."

  • Milica Cosic

    Queen' first Xmas as widow alone

    A royal commentator has recalled how The Queen spent last Christmas alone with Prince Philip and members of their staff at Windsor Castle.

    Speaking to ITV's This Morning, royal expert Russell Myers said: "Due to these spiralling Covid rates it seems everything is under review and as it stands at the moment, the Queen doesn't know really what she's going to be up to for Christmas.

    "I'm sure she hopes she can spend it with the rest of her family.

    "Last year like many of us, she was forced to spend it alone with Prince Philip at Windsor Castle.

    "Fingers crossed for the Queen and the rest of us."

  • Milica Cosic

    Prince Harry king’ searches explode

    A new finding by Each Night reveals that searches for ‘Prince Harry king’ exploded to nearly nine times the average volume, an unprecedented spike in searches for Prince Harry – who would ascend the throne if William and his direct descendants tragically died – becoming King, according to Google search data analysis.  

    A spokesperson for Each Night commented on the findings, saying: “While all The Queen’s family will be incredibly precious to her, Prince William and his three children represent a bright future for the monarchy, and she will want to ensure that they stay safe and well, ready to receive the Crown.

    "While William is an adept pilot, helicopters are not the safest way to travel, and if the worst were to occur, Prince Harry would take the throne." 

    The spokesperson continued to say: "Despite no longer being a working Royal, the explosion in searches for ‘Prince Harry king’ suggest that his popularity is undiminished, with many people considering an alternate universe with him as King”.

  • Milica Cosic

    More Royal Family news 

    • The Queen's VERY strict Christmas dinner seating plan has been revealed.
    • And The Queen is hiring someone to go through all her Royal secrets – and you’ll get £24k for it
    • Plus thrifty Kate struck again as she recycles green sequinned gown and gold earrings for date night with William.

    Kate Middleton ‘very upset’ over Will's Harry & Meghan rift

    According to People magazine, the Duchess of Cambridge is "very upset" about Harry and Meghan's claims they were mistreated while they were senior working royals.

    An insider told the magazine that Kate has been "really, really upset about it all".

    A friend of the Duchess' claimed: "Everything with Harry and Meghan has been hugely stressful.

    "But if anything, it's pulled [her and William] closer together."

    The insider claimed the mum-of-three has struggled seeing her husband so "upset" about the alleged rift with his brother.

    They added: "She was upset about it because [William] was so upset.

    "Seeing her husband so distraught was tough."

    Meghan & Harry's Christmas move branded a 'slight'

    A royal commentator has said that Meghan and Prince Harry's decision to spend Christmas in Canada, rather than the Queen and the rest of the Royal Family in 2019 was branded an "extraordinary slight" against Her Majesty.

    Speaking on Channel 5 programme "Fergie & Meghan: Inconvenient Royals" Richard Kay claimed: “That seemed an extraordinary slight in many ways.

    “The Queen dearly loves having all her grandchildren and great-grandchildren around her at Christmas.

    “The suggestion was perhaps Harry and Meghan were being selfish about all this.”

    Meghan and Harry travelled with their son Archie to Canada in mid-November 2019 for an announced six-week break from royal duties.

    Xmas at Sandringham is a family tradition

    Royal biographer Ingrid Seward said: “Since 1988 they’ve celebrated at Sandringham and, before that, Windsor.

    "It’s a significant place for the Queen this year as it’s where her father died 70 years ago and where he spent his last weeks shooting.

    “Also, without Philip at her side this year, it’s important that she should be there with the family and keep up a sense of normality.

    “She must be so fed up with Windsor. It’s rather gloomy being surrounded by grey brick and she’s been there for so long that she will be keen to get away.”

    • Milica Cosic

      Staff busy preparing Sandringham Estate

      The Queen will leave for the Sandringham Estate on Wednesday and staff are busily preparing rooms.

      Prince Charles and Camilla, Prince William, Kate and their children, Prince Andrew and daughters Beatrice and Eugenie and Prince Edward and Sophie Wessex’s family are expected to join her.

      Cousins, nephews and nieces have also been invited and will stay in the main house or properties on the sprawling Norfolk estate.

      A source said: “The Queen wants as many family members there as possible.”

    • Milica Cosic

      Queen misses church

      Her Majesty, 95, cancelled her usual Sunday devotions on the Windsor estate to avoid any risk of becoming infected.

      Sources say the monarch — who has been in good health and walking without a stick — opted to “cut down” on social interactions ahead of the get-together for safety’s sake.

      Her traditional pre-Christmas lunch at Windsor Castle had already been axed to try to ensure family members did not pick up the virus.

    • Milica Cosic

      George, Charlotte and Louis get two Christmases

      Kate, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William’s three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, are undoubtedly excited for the festivities this year.

      And if they do spend Christmas with the Queen in Norfolk, the royal children may find they get two Christmas celebrations this year.

      Etiquette expert and former royal butler Grant Harrold explained the festive gift traditions of the Royal Family.

      Mr Harrold said: “The kids still get to spend Christmas morning like, hopefully, every other kid in the country and get to open their presents on Christmas morning.

      “With the royals, Christmas more than anything for the Queen is very much about having the family together.

      “Having that time with them all, spending time with the grandkids and the great-grandkids, and having that little tradition of the fun Christmas gifts with the afternoon tea.

      “And then they have I suppose you’d call it a ‘Christmas dinner’ as they have a big dinner in the evening, but then the next day they have a lunch.”

    • Milica Cosic

      Sarah Ferguson on Prince Harry’s ‘happiness’ with Meghan

      Sarah Ferguson spoke out on Prince Harry’s “happiness” with Meghan Markle and shared what she thinks his late mother, Princess Diana, would say about her son today.

      During an appearance on the Italian talk show, Porta a Porta, on Tuesday, the Duchess of York said: “The most important thing—and I know Diana, if she were here, would say that—is they are happy.

      “And she (Meghan) makes him happy. And I love to see that little boy that cried at the funeral to have happiness now,” Sarah said.

    • Milica Cosic

      Employed to know all the Queen's secrets

      The Queen is looking to hire someone to help with the family archives, which means you'll be able to know what goes on in the innermost workings of the palace.

      The successful candidate will be based at Windsor Castle starting in February 2022.

      Her Majesty is paying £24,000 for the 37.5 hours-a-week role, and you’ll also get 33 days paid holiday (inclusive of Bank Holidays) and an employer contribution pension scheme.

      The advert lists the role as a Digitisation Technician, who will “produce high quality images of documentary items, before transferring them to  permanent storage.”

      It states: “Joining our team of experts, your challenge will be to digitise material held by the Royal Archives and the Royal Collection, producing valuable content for high profile public access.

      “You’ll analyse every digital image for quality and metadata compliance, carrying out vital quality assurance checks.”

      Do you want the Queen as your boss? You have until January 7, 2022 to apply here.

    • Milica Cosic

      Duke of Cambridge also loves ice skating and board games at Xmas

      Prince William has said he enjoyed playing the board games Monopoly and Risk with his children.

      William confirmed that he also liked ice-skating but was not very good at it and looked like a “deer on ice”.

      William also paid tribute to the patients and staff at the hospital, saying: “I’ve always been amazed by the positivity, the energy and the hope and the love that goes with the Royal Marsden.”

      He said staff would ensure the festive period would be “jolly” despite it being “a different Christmas for those in the hospital this year”.

      Last year’s Royal gathering was scrapped because of the Covid-19 crisis, and this year's is still in question.

    • Milica Cosic

      Harry & Meghan 'first to donate' to charity

      The Duke and Duchess of Sussex donated to the first ever Annual Montecito Holiday Car Parade, which took place in their local California neighbourhood last week. 

      The local paper wrote: "As the merriment still lingers in the air, here’s to a new Montecito holiday tradition!

      "Thanks to the many parade sponsors including Prince Harry and Meghan Markle who were first to donate."

      The couple showed their support for their new hometown as they joined a select few donors in supporting the festive car procession.

    • Milica Cosic

      George's 'most genuine smile' yet

      According to a body language expert, Prince George looks "very happy" and "engaged" in the most recent photo released of the young royal.

      The Christmas card the The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge chose for this year features the family of five during a trip to Jordan.

      Dr Lillian Glass, an internationally-renowned body language expert analysed the image for Express.co.uk.

      She noted that George, third in line for the throne, looked “very happy and comfortable” in the snap.

    • Milica Cosic

      How the Royal Family usually spends Christmas Day (Continued…)

      • The Queen's Speech – The message is prerecorded which means the Queen can watch it back surrounded by her loved ones.
      • Chats with the Queen – According to former royal butler Paul Burrell, all the royals like to have a one-to-one chat with the Queen during the day, but there's one popular time to do it. That's when: "she's seated at her card table, before and after dinner, she will sit and play Bridge or Canasta and she'll always ask people to join her".
      • Dinner – Despite the hearty breakfast and big lunch the royal chefs put on an evening buffet for dinner.
      • Chef Darren says there's "a buffet dinner with 15-20 different items. It's always a buffet with the chefs at the table carving."

      How the Royal Family usually spends Christmas Day

      When it comes to Christmas Day, the royals have a very set way of celebrating. Here’s exactly what they do on Christmas Day:

      • Breakfast – The Royals kick off the big day with the first of many meals – breakfast – although some of them split up to eat.
      • Church – The public usually gets to see the Royals when they head out to a traditional Christmas Day church service at St Mary Magdalene.
      • Christmas lunch – Royal Chef Darren revealed exactly what the Queen eats during an interview with Good Housekeeping. He said: “After church, that’s when they have a big lunch that includes a salad with shrimp or lobster, and a roasted turkey, and all of your traditional side dishes like parsnips, carrots, Brussels sprouts, and Christmas pudding with brandy butter for dessert.
        “They stick with the same meal year after year.”

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