The Queen has cancelled her annual Royal Family Christmas lunch on Tuesday ‘with regret’ as a ‘precaution’ to try to save her loved ones festive plans, amid fears over the Omicron Covid variant.

The 95-year-old monarch was planning to welcome 50 or so relatives, including Prince Charles and Camilla, to an event at Windsor Castle next week.

After the Christmas party, Queen Elizabeth II was scheduled to take a helicopter flight to Sandringham in Norfolk. There she will spend Christmas. 

However it has now emerged the Queen ‘with regret’ has cancelled her family lunch as a ‘precautionary’ measure, feeling that too many people’s Christmas arrangements were at risk if it went ahead. 

According to royal sources, there is an understanding that this is right for everyone. 

This is the second time that the Queen cancels the event which was held every year at Buckingham Palace.

She called it off last year when she saw that tougher restrictions had been imposed amid the Delta Covid strain’s surge. 

The decision comes after millions of Britons cancelled Christmas Day plans in order to be with family. 

The Queen has cancelled her annual Royal Family Christmas lunch on Tuesday amid fears over the Omicron Covid variant

Fears over Omicron Covid have led to the Queen cancelling her Royal Family Christmas Lunch on Tuesday 

Camilla Tominey, a royal expert, appeared today on This Morning to discuss the matter. She said that the monarch is considering leaving the decision up to the guests about whether or not they will attend the event. 

She explained that while we thought that the Queen was planning to host a Christmas party at Windsor for her extended family on Tuesday night, it seems like this is still being planned. 

“Then she’ll go to Sandringham, Norfolk for traditional celebrations.”

“But now, they seem to be in a state of flux. Like we are all. Maybe it’s going to be about the guests and if people don’t feel comfortable coming,  that makes the decision for you.’ 

The 95-year-old monarch was planning to welcome 50 or so relatives, including Prince Charles and Camilla, to an event at Windsor Castle next week

According to the monarch, who is 95 years old, 50 of his relatives were expected to attend an event at Windsor Castle next Wednesday.

The family would be reunited in their largest ever reunion after the death of the Duke in April. 

While three of her four new grandchildren – August, Lucas and Siena – had been expected to attend the lunch, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and their son Archie and newborn Lilibet, also born this year, will remain in the US.  

The Royal Family was planning to visit St Mary Magdalene Church on Christmas Eve, and then join her at Sandringham on Christmas Eve. 

However, it is not yet clear if the plan will be implemented.  

After multiple recent health problems, the Queen is now residing at Windsor Castle. She continues on “light duties” 

Royal expert Camilla explained that guests of the Queen's lunch could decide if they feel 'comfortable' themselves attending

Camilla, Royal Expert Camilla explained how guests at the Queen’s Lunch could determine if it is a place they are ‘comfortable. 

The annual Christmas lunch was due to be held at Windsor Castle (pictured) this year, instead of the usual Buckingham Palace

Windsor Castle, rather than Buckingham Palace (pictured), was the venue for this year’s annual Christmas lunch 

A ITV crew recorded Queen Mary’s Christmas Day address a few weeks ago.     

The Mail reported last Wednesday that palace officials were looking into options for the monarch’s appearance in public, in order to wish everyone a Merry Christmas.

Buckingham Palace has released videos and photographs of the sovereign undertaking, but all meetings took place behind the palace walls.

It is hoped that the Queen will feel well enough to participate in a brief public engagement on the castle grounds. 

The Queen is currently residing in Windsor Castle, where she remains on 'light duties' following multiple health scares in recent weeks (pictured earlier this week)

The Queen currently lives in Windsor Castle. She is on “light duty” following several health scares over the past week (pictured earlier in this week). 

In difficult situations, her appearance is a small shot of joy.

A source stated that it wouldn’t be normal Christmas but it would be like other families in the country.

On October 19, the Queen was last seen publicly at Windsor Castle’s reception. She cancelled her trip to Northern Ireland the next day and was then taken to hospital for unspecified preliminary tests. 

The Cop26 Summit asked her to be restrained for several more weeks. She has since taken on a handful of lower-key tasks, such as recording a video message.

This comes at a time when many Americans began to self-isolate in an effort to not be forced to isolate by December 25, if they are positive for Covid.

Prof Whitty said that a rise in Omicron hospitalisations is ‘nailed on’ after cases hit a record high yesterday, telling a televised No 10 press briefing: ‘I think that what most people are doing is – and I would think this seems very sensible – is prioritising the social interactions that really matter to them and, to project those ones, de-prioritising ones that matter much less to them.’

Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a media briefing in Downing Street, London

Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, during a briefing for media in Downing Street (London).

Following weeks of denials about Christmas plans, Johnson said that the country should cut down on partying during Christmas season and think carefully before heading out.

Independent SAGE is a scientific and medical group that calls for a 10-day immediate ‘circuitbreaker’ shutdown. It will include bans on household mixing as well as the closing of hotels. They accused Prime Minister David Cameron of not imposing stricter controls sooner and claimed that it was now time to take emergency measures.

In a double-take on the Prime Minister’s suggestion that socializing must be reduced to prevent Covid from being caught over Christmas Week, Gillian Keegan, Health Minister said: “Everybody is urging caution. The majority of people will have a friend or family member who is positive to Covid. If you are positive you can be kept isolated from the rest of your family for Christmas. That’s going to cause people to be a little more cautious.

She said, “Make the right decision for you. If you are going to be attending a party or event, make sure to take the test. It doesn’t matter if there are many people you don’t recognize. You can take a different approach if your goal is to get to Christmas Day with family. LBC later learned that although Christmas parties are possible, everyone should check beforehand to ensure they’re seated’spaced apart. 

The Downing Street Press Conference last night saw England’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty, and the Prime Minister Boris Johnson exacerbating fears by encouraging people not to plan for Christmas. Professor Whitty also dismissed a South African study that suggested the variant might be milder and said Omicron “is going to cause problems”.     

Government scientists have been calling for ‘Plan C’ curbs as they warn there could be 1million daily cases by next month and 4,000 hospital admissions – levels similar to those seen during the January shutdown. But, these projections remain heavily doubted.

More than 78,000 people tested positive for Covid yesterday – a 50 per cent jump on last week, and eclipsing the previous record of 68,053 in January.