Queen to cancel Xmas walkabout over fears event will become Covid super-spreader

Queen cancels Christmas party as she thinks about Sandringham

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Royal fans are set to be disappointed for another consecutive year as the tradition, which usually sees several hundred people gather outside Sandringham, is set to be cancelled. Although plans are still yet to be determined, there are fears the walkabout could become a superspreader event for the virus, which could endanger Her Majesty.

Visitors to the royal residence may still be allowed through the gates of the Sandringham estate, but sources told The Mirror, the famous footpath on which royal watchers gather to greet the Queen and her family, will be locked down. 

Staff told the publication they “fully expect” public access to be denied on Christmas Day in a bid to shield Her Majesty, senior royals and members of the public from the threat of Covid and the new rapidly spreading variant. 

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

In previous years the tradition has seen people queuing outside Sandringham from around 2am with some fans even flying in from abroad in order to greet the Queen.

The event would normally see fans vie for the chance to shake hands with the monarch and her family, including Prince Charles and Camilla and William and Kate.

Should the walkabout be cancelled this year, it would mark the second consecutive year the event has been cancelled due to Covid concerns. 

On Friday, Buckingham palace insisted the Queen’s plans for the festive season were still under discussion. 

If all goes as planned, the Queen is set to fly from Windsor to Sandringham on Wednesday but palace insiders say plans are “still in the balance”.

A source told the Daily Mail that “all plans were under consideration” including her trip to Norfolk.

The source added: “Her Majesty always leads by example, regardless of her personal preferences.”

A final decision is expected to be made early next week as royal aides consider Government advice.

This year marks the first year the Queen will celebrate Christmas without her beloved Prince Philip, who died earlier this year aged 99.

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However, she is not expected to be on her own unless the Government bans households from mixing.

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