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Windsor Castle Christmas decorations are unveiled

The Queen has been forced to cancel her annual Christmas gift-giving ceremony for the first time in her reign to Covid restrictions.

Every year the Monarch, 94, order presents for every single member of the royal household, which are usually given to them along with a Christmas pudding in the Advent period. 

Past favourites include a special trinket box or a photo frame engraved with her personal cypher and champagne flutes. 

The Queen personally hands over her token of appreciation to a small selection of staff by the Christmas trees at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle as a special thank you for their loyal service, before she de-camps to Sandringham until February.

However, this year the intimate ceremonies have been cancelled due to social distancing regulations and the need for the 94-year-old monarch to stay in a strict operational bubble.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, who will be spending Christmas ‘quietly’ at Windsor Castle this year, will not personally hand over gifts to royal staff, as has been the tradition throughout the 94-year-old Monarch’s reign

Known to spend thousands of pounds on her staff at Christmas, with favourites including a Christmas pudding, champagne flutes or engraved trinket boxes, the Queen will still gift presents but, due to the pandemic, won't hand them over personally

Known to spend thousands of pounds on her staff at Christmas, with favourites including a Christmas pudding, champagne flutes or engraved trinket boxes, the Queen will still gift presents but, due to the pandemic, won’t hand them over personally

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will spend Christmas ‘quietly’ at Windsor Castle.  

Royal employees have also been informed, unsurprisingly, that the Palace’s main official Christmas party, as well as all smaller staff events, have been cancelled.  

The annual lunch the monarch holds on the Wednesday before Christmas for her own extended family – which normally sees more than 25 royals and their children sit down to a full turkey lunch – has also, inevitably, fallen by the wayside, sources confirmed. 

‘It’s a great shame but inevitable and the right thing to do,’ a source said.

‘The staff will still receive a gift from the Queen as usual but there will be no special moment with Her Majesty. It’s as much a disappointment for her as it will be for them, as it’s a hugely special time of the year.

‘And like offices around the country there will be no Christmas parties at Buckingham Palace or any of the royal residences this year. It’s the way it has to be.’


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