The Queen has just cancelled a key part of the Royal Christmas

It's believed to be a precaution to stop any unnecessary exposure to Covid-19.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

It's believed to be a precaution to stop any unnecessary exposure to Covid-19.

It's been confirmed today that The Queen has canceled an annual family gathering to reduce the risk of spreading - or catching - Covid-19.

Buckingham Palace officials confirmed the move, saying that while it is only a precaution, they didn't want to risk lives or subsequent Royal Family Christmas arrangements.

The event in question is a pre-Christmas lunch at Buckingham Palace, hosted by the Queen for her extended family.

This comes as 78,610 Covid-19 cases were reported across the UK on Wednesday – the most ever recorded in one day, even more than the previous highest peak - and as Omicron sweeps the nation.

It’s thought as many as 1 million Brits will have to stay home this Christmas, with stats indicating as many as four times more people will be isolating this year than last.

A source said that Royal officials made the move as they thought the lunch put too many arrangements at risk if the event were to go ahead and infect any of those there.

It's thought the event was ready to go ahead next Tuesday 21st December, but that officials are canceling to be safe.

The event was canceled last year, too, due to a nationwide lockdown.

It's thought that the guest list usually includes The Queen's children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, and is a pre-Christmas celebration before she sets off to the Royal residence at Sandringham, where she spends Christmas Day.

Why do they have two Christmas lunches, you ask? It's thought that the occasion gives HRM the chance to catch up with any Royal Family members who won't be joining her at Sandringham for the 25th, including her cousins the Gloucesters, the Michaels of Kent, and the Duke of Kent, too.

Whether The Queen will still meet with prime minister Boris Johnson in person is yet to be confirmed. Last year, it was made virtual.

A spokesperson for the prime minister has said so far: "That will be a matter for the Royal Family."

"I'm not aware of them not being... I think they will probably be moved virtually but that'll be a matter for the palace."

What do you reckon, and have you cancelled any plans so far?

Ally Head
Senior Health, Sustainability and Relationships Editor

Ally Head is Marie Claire UK's Senior Health, Sustainability, and Relationships Editor, nine-time marathoner, and Boston Qualifying runner. Day-to-day, she works across site strategy, features, and e-commerce, reporting on the latest health updates, writing the must-read health and wellness content, and rounding up the genuinely sustainable and squat-proof gym leggings worth *adding to basket*. She's won a BSME for her sustainability work, regularly hosts panels and presents for events like the Sustainability Awards, and is a stickler for a strong stat, too, seeing over nine million total impressions on the January 2023 Wellness Issue she oversaw. Follow Ally on Instagram for more or get in touch.