Queen 'cancels' pre-Christmas lunch with royal family

The Queen has decided to cancel her traditional pre-Christmas family lunch due to surging Omicron cases in the UK.

It is understood the decision was taken as a precaution as Her Majesty felt it ‘could put too many people’s Christmas arrangements at risk if it went ahead’.

A senior palace source said: ‘The Queen is regretful, but feels it is the right thing to do.’

Buckingham Palace has not comment on the cancelled arrangements.

The Queen is understood to be still committed to hosting her immediate family over the Christmas holidays at Sandringham, but is expected to take advice in the next few days as to whether it is safe to do so, according to the Daily Mirror.

The UK recorded 78,610 confirmed new Covid cases yesterday, the highest number since the pandemic started.

At a Downing Street Press Conference last night, Professor Chris Whitty urged people to reduce their social contacts in the run up to Christmas and prioritise ‘the things that really matter to them’.

There are now 15 people in hospital with the new Omicron variant.

But with cases doubling every two days, a peak could hit ‘really fast’ and cause a record number of hospital admissions, Prof Whitty said.

This is a breaking news story, more to follow soon… Check back shortly for further updates.

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