Queen Elizabeth II, 94, and Prince Philip’s Christmas plans have been subject to huge speculation as a question mark hung over how the royal couple might mark the holiday amid the pandemic. While the traditional royal Christmas at Sandringham is a no-goer this year, Philip and the Queen will be joined by relatives, a royal insider has claimed.
The Queen and Philip’s youngest son Prince Edward, 56, is expected to join his parents with his wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex and their two children – Lady Louise Windsor, 16, and James, Viscount Severn, 12, to mark the holiday.
A source told the Daily Mail: “Prince Edward and his family will be one of the two in her bubble.”
A relaxation of restrictions over Christmas will allow up to three households to mix in Britain from December 23 to December 27.
During this period the bubbled-up households should not mix with others.
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The source added: “If they go to Sandringham, their traditional Boxing Day shoot could still take place, enabling them to see members of the family unable to join them on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.”
Shoots can legally take place as they are classified as organised outdoor sports, so up to 30 royals could meet up the day after Christmas.
Prince William and Kate are expected to spend Christmas down the road from Sandringham at their country home Anmer Hall.
While the couple may not join the Queen on Christmas Day they could take their children, Prince George, seven, Princess Charlotte, five and Prince Louis, two, to the Boxing Day shoot so that they can visit their great-grandparents.
Royal expert and author Robert Jobson previously told the Telegraph: “[The Countess] is probably the best example of an outsider coming into the family and learning on the job.
“She’s very much the Queen’s favourite, and you’ll notice that whenever there is a family holiday or gathering, Sophie and Edward often stay a while longer than the rest.”
Sophie and her family were the first royals to visit the Queen and Prince Philip at Balmoral after the first lockdown ended in the summer.
Sophie and Edward live at Bagshot Park in Surrey, the stately home was a wedding gift to them from the Queen.