It looks like it’s going to be a smaller-than-usual gathering for the royals this year. In addition to the absence of the late Prince Philip and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s decision to stay in California, Princess Anne will also not be attending Queen Elizabeth‘s holiday festivities.
Why Anne Is Staying Home
Anne’s husband, Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Lawrence, has tested positive for COVID. The pair are isolating at their home in Gloucestershire for 10 days, which means the princess will not be seeing her mother for Christmas.
This news comes just days after it was announced that the queen would not be traveling to her Sandringham estate for the royal family’s traditional family Christmas celebration. Instead, Queen Elizabeth will be staying at Windsor Castle over the holidays for the second year in a row.
The queen also canceled the royal family’s annual Christmas luncheon at Buckingham Palace as COVID cases in the UK surge. A royal source said that the queen’s decision to stay at Windsor Castle was made after “careful consideration” and is part of an ongoing “precautionary approach.”
Even though the family won’t gather at Sandringham, the queen will still get to see her family. Many family members are planning visits to see her, although it’s unclear whether Prince Charles’ and Prince William’s families will be among the visitors. Both live far from Windsor Castle, and a visit would mean a long trip during the busy holiday season. However, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward both live in the Windsor area, so they are expected to see the queen over the holidays.
Middleton’s Christmas Special
William and Kate Middleton are staying busy this holiday season with the release of Middleton’s Royal Carols: Together At Christmas special. The program was filmed on December 8th and will air on Christmas Eve. The program celebrates the work of organizations and individuals who have “stepped up to support their communities during the pandemic.”
In a program for the concert, Middleton wrote, “Through our separation from others, we have been reminded just how powerful human connection is to us all. Just how much we need one another. And how loving and feeling a sense of belonging to one another can provide comfort in tough times. The importance of simply being together.”
The program came with some drama of its own: the special was supposed to air on the BBC, but after airing a controversial documentary about William and Harry, the program was moved to ITV.