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Queen Elizabeth misses church

Britain's Queen Elizabeth delivers a speech inside the Siambr (Chamber) during the ceremonial opening of the Sixth Senedd in Cardiff, Britain October 14, 2021. Picture: Andrew Matthews/Pool via Reuters

Britain's Queen Elizabeth delivers a speech inside the Siambr (Chamber) during the ceremonial opening of the Sixth Senedd in Cardiff, Britain October 14, 2021. Picture: Andrew Matthews/Pool via Reuters

Published Dec 20, 2021

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Queen Elizabeth has opted to "cut down" on social interaction ahead of her Christmas celebrations, so did not attend church on Sunday.

The 95-year-old monarch usually attends a service on the Windsor estate every weekend but this week opted not to go in order to preserve her plans for a family Christmas at Sandringham.

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Sources told The Sun newspaper the queen is in good health but has opted to "cut down" on social interactions ahead of the family gathering for safety's sake.

The queen is expected to leave for Sandringham on Wednesday, where she will be joined on Christmas Day by many of her children and grandchildren.

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

It was revealed on Friday that the queen's traditional pre-Christmas lunch - which would be held at Windsor Castle before she travelled to Sandringham - had been cancelled because the monarch felt it "could put too many people's Christmas arrangements at risk if it went ahead".

A senior palace source added: "The queen is regretful, but feels it is the right thing to do."

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The queen usually invites her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren to join her, and they're also joined by her cousins the Duke of Gloucester, the Duke of Kent and Prince Michael of Kent.

Last year's gathering was also cancelled as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Because of rising coronavirus cases, royal staff have also admitted they "fully expect" the family's traditional meet and greet with members of the public on the footpath between the Sandringham Estate and St Mary Magdalene Church to be cancelled.

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A source said: “Of course everyone would love everything back to normal – but the situation is anything but.”

If it is closed off to the public, officials hope a socially-distanced small media gathering will allow people to see pictures of the family on their traditional walk to church.

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