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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepped back from their senior royal roles earlier this year. Before the borders were closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Harry and Meghan made their home in California – where they have now purchased a sprawling mansion in Santa Barbara.
With Christmas now approaching, many of us are wondering how coronavirus will impact on our family plans this year.
And the Royal Family are no exception to the lockdown rules in the UK, as they will have to abide by them when planning their festive arrangements too.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently announced the new ‘rule of six’ laws in England, which means any gatherings of more than six people is now illegal.
The Royal Family will have to significantly reduce the number of guests it usually has at the Christmas dinner table if the rule is still in place in December.
The Queen usually has a number of her family members visit her at Sandringham in Norfolk over Christmas.
But with only six people allowed in a social gathering, the Queen will have to choose who she would like in attendance.
As Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge have three children, the entire Cambridge family would not be able to visit the Queen and Prince Philip this year as they would be a group of seven.
While grandson Harry, Meghan and baby Archie could be the Queen’s first choice to visit her as she hasn’t seen them in months, she may have to prioritise her children first.
Harry and Meghan may also find they struggle to get to the UK from the US as travel restrictions could still be in place.
If Harry and Meghan do find lockdown restrictions stop them visiting the Queen this Christmas, it will be the second Christmas in a row the Sussexes have missed with the Royal Family.
Harry and Meghan spent Christmas in Canada last year where they were joined by Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland.
With Christmas still a few months away, it is not known just what kind of lockdown rules will be in place by then.
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The Government is preparing for a potential second wave of coronavirus infections this winter, and the Queen and Prince Philip could even be asked to shield once again if cases are on the rise.
But according to recent reports, the royal Christmas will certainly look very different this year, with the royal’s usual walk to church likely to be cut for 2020.
A source told the Mail on Sunday: “Any sort of church attendance on Christmas Day is highly unlikely under the current guidelines.
“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.”
Buckingham Palace acknowledged the Royal Family’s Christmas would need to fit with the guidelines, and told the publication: “The plans for Christmas have not been discussed, but any activities would take into account the relevant advice and guidance at the time.”
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