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The Queen has cancelled all major events planned at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle for the rest of 2020 due to the risk associated with the coronavirus pandemic. Large-scale events will no longer take place and instead, the palaces will be used for smaller audiences and engagements. But could the 2020 Christmas message be the next royal event to be cancelled?
The Queen cancelled all receptions and other “large-scale events” such as investitures in line with Government guidelines given the ongoing pandemic.
The Buckingham Palace statement reads: “In line with current Government guidelines, and as a sensible precaution in the current circumstances, there will be no large scale events held at Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle for the rest of the year.
“A variety of possibilities were examined to see if it was possible for Investitures to safely take place in line with the guidelines.
“Sadly, due to the large numbers of guests and recipients attending, it was not possible to find a way of safely delivering these events in the current circumstances. Recipients will be contacted directly. “The Queen’s intention remains to return to Windsor Castle in October and to resume the use of Buckingham Palace during an Autumn programme of Audiences and engagements, in line with all relevant guidance and advice.”
Will the 2020 Christmas message be cancelled?
The Christmas Broadcast is an important part of Christmas Day for many people around Britain.
Each message reflects on the current issues of the day and shares the Queen’s thoughts on what Christmas means to her.
This year Christmas is likely to be different to others, however, it is unlikely the Queen’s Christmas message will be cancelled.
During 2020, the Queen has addressed the nation in a televised speech on two separate occasions.
The first is a coronavirus broadcast made in April whereby she thanked Britons for “coming together to help others”.
It was only the fifth time the Queen has given such a speech in her 68-year reign.
This speech was watched by 23.97 million viewers, making it the second most-watched broadcast at that time, behind Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement about coronavirus lockdown measures in March.
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The Queen’s Christmas speech has been cancelled only once during her reign – in 1969.
The annual Christmas broadcast in 1969 was cancelled as the Queen felt that, between the investiture of her son, Prince Charles, as Prince of Wales and the release of the documentary Royal Family, she had had enough coverage on television.
Concern about this lack of broadcast expressed by the public prompted the Queen to issue a written statement which assured those concerned about the return to tradition in the following year.
The Queen’s written message acknowledged the end of the 1960s and the decade’s significance for being the time when men first walked on the moon.
Many Royal Family Christmas traditions are likely to be altered this year amid the pandemic.
For instance, the Queen’s staff have reportedly rebelled about plans to make them leave their families to work in a covid-secure bubble at Sandringham over Christmas.
These staff members are said to be unwilling to isolate from their own loved ones for four weeks.
A source told the Sun: “The Queen is furious. The staff said enough is enough. It is absolutely unprecedented.
“Everybody wants to stay loyal but they feel that they’ve been pushed too far by being made to isolate from their families at Christmas.”
In addition, if the current rule of six maintains in place, the Queen will be unable to host the usual Royal Family gathering which is typical each year.
Customarily the Queen hosts around 30 members of her closest family for Christmas lunch.
But this year, she could be forced to choose four other members of the Royal Family to join her and Prince Philip for the festive day.
One source has also suggested the Royal Family may skip their usual visit to church for the Christmas Day service.
A source told the Daily Mail: “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.”
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