Queen Elizabeth Cancels Royal Family's Annual Pre-Christmas Lunch Due to COVID Concerns

The queen has not announced whether she plans to spend the holidays with her family.

Queen Elizabeth II is taking precautionary measures to ensure she and her family stay safe this Christmas. The 95-year-old reigning British monarch has canceled her family's pre-Christmas lunch, a royal source tells ET.

A palace source tells ET that the queen made the decision with "regret," but added that "there is a belief it is the right thing to do for all concerned."

The decision is being described as "precautionary" in light of the rising highly transmissible COVID-19 omicron variant, noting that the previously planned lunch could "put too many people’s Christmas arrangements at risk if it went ahead." 

The lunch traditionally takes place with members of the royal family ahead of the queen's annual trip to Sandringham for the holidays. It was set to take place at Windsor Castle next week. There has been no word on whether the queen still plans to spend the holidays with her family at Sandringham or if she will remain isolated. 

In recent months, Her Majesty has scaled back her engagements due to a variety of health reasons. Last month, she missed the annual Remembrance Service after spraining her back. In October, HRH spent the night in the hospital for tests and observation after being advised by doctors to rest for a few days. 

While she has since resumed some of her duties, many of them have been virtual and she has scaled back some of her scheduled appearances in an effort to maintain her health.