Because millions of people around the world are still grappling with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, Queen Elizabeth is considering “canceling” her royal family’s annual Christmas plans. The iconic monarch may put their traditional event on hold in fear “it’ll be very risky,” a source exclusively reveals to Closer Weekly.
“The royals are talking about canceling their traditional Christmas this year as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the U.K.,” the insider shares. “Royal aides are warning her that it’s not a good idea.”
Even though the 94-year-old monarch “would love [nothing] more than to see her family reunite” at her holiday home in Sandringham, palace workers are worried about having the “high volume of staff” that is usually required for preparation. “Plus, the generations of royals that attend,” the source adds.
Considering Elizabeth’s yearly Christmas festivities “are one of the few occasions in the year when the family congregates,” the possibility of having to cancel plans is “heartbreaking” for her. “But she’s coming up with a plan B,” the insider notes. “Some sort of smaller gathering with very close family.”
The former princess — who tied the knot with husband Prince Philip, 99, in 1947 — has been hosting the holiday party at her Sandringham Estate each year since 1988. Attendees usually include son Prince Charles, Prince William, Duchess Kate (née Middleton), Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and the queen’s many great-grandchildren.
However, Harry, 36, and his wife’s presence at this year’s smaller family celebration is up in there as the couple moved to North America with their only son, Archie Harrison. The Duke of Sussex and the former Suits actress, 39 — who stepped back from their royal duties in January 2020 — bounced around between Canada and California before settling down in Santa Barbara in early August.
While Harry and Meghan are no longer working royals in Elizabeth’s monarchy, the longtime queen has no hard feelings for her grandson and his wife of over two years. In fact, Elizabeth made her intentions “clear” during a meeting with the prince in March.
“She often worries about [Harry], and the most important thing to her is to see him happy and settled,” a previous insider told Closer at the time. “She told him that he’s always welcome back if he ever changes his mind about living in North America,” noting, “Harry feels as though a huge weight has been lifted off his shoulders since the meeting.”