The Windsors have so many “traditions” when it comes to Christmas. They still adhere to the Germanic traditions of their ancestors, and the Queen feels strongly that Christmas is a time for strict rules, dozens of costume changes, a lot of liquor, and quiet contemplation in church. There are actually tons of rules about the kids too, and what part of Christmas little kids are allowed to participate in and all of that. Basically, Royal Christmas is a tightass convention and they’ve been needing to shake things up for years. And now it’s finally happening, because of the pandemic:
The traditional Royal Christmas faces being scrapped if the current Covid-19 regulations continue, The Mail on Sunday can reveal. The Queen, Prince Charles and senior Royals will be unlikely to walk to church in public on Christmas Day, enjoy a family lunch at Sandringham or take part in the long-established Christmas Eve present opening and dinner.
The ‘rule of six’, which limits almost all indoor and outdoor gatherings to half a dozen from tomorrow, may mean the Queen, like everyone else, will have to choose who she spends the festive period with. When the crackdown was announced last week, Boris Johnson was unable to guarantee that the rules would be gone by Christmas.
Arrangements are further complicated by ‘HMS Bubble’, the name coined for protective measures thrown around the Queen and Prince Philip to protect them from the virus. It means members of their family cannot stay with them unless they first self-isolate.
Courtiers are understood to be reluctant to encourage crowds, where infections become more likely, so could torpedo plans for the traditional walk to St Mary Magdalene Church on the Sandringham estate. Last year, some 1,500 wellwishers flocked to see Prince George and Princess Charlotte attend their first public service and greet the crowds.
‘Any sort of church attendance on Christmas Day is highly unlikely under the current guidelines,’ a source said. ‘There is no desire to create crowds and over the years, the Royals’ walk to church has become more and more popular. It is now something of an event, so this year will need to be looked at very carefully. Perhaps it could be ticketed, as the church does stand on private land, but there could be no interaction. The Royals do not want to encourage crowds.’
The Queen’s custom of hosting about 30 of her closest family for lunch at the Norfolk estate before watching her speech to the nation is also under threat, as is the opening of presents together on Christmas Eve.
I bet that there will still be pretty strict social distancing and crowd rules over Christmas. I don’t think we’ll get a viable vaccine until 2021, and we’ll probably be well into 2021 before things return to anything resembling “normal.” Which means that even the Windsors will have to change things up. Ten bucks says that the Cambridges just go to Bucklebury and spend Christmas with the Middletons. Ten bucks says that the Sussexes don’t even try to fly in for anything. Ten bucks says that there will be no Christmas walk to church.
Photos courtesy of WENN, Avalon Red.