Queen’s Christmas at Sandringham set to be cancelled for first time in 33 years

The Queen’s Christmas at Sandringham may be cancelled for the first time in 33 years, Palace servants have been told.

Her Majesty welcomes up to 30 family members to the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk every Christmas but her plans have been thrown into turmoil because of Covid-19.

Sources say an official decision will not be made until lockdown has ended but it is possible the Queen’s three-decades-long tradition could be cancelled.

Instead, a smaller Christmas for Prince Philip and the Queen, who have returned to Covid-secure HMS Bubble at Windsor Castle, may be arranged at Wood Farm Cottage.

A source told The Sun: "Nothing has been resolved as staff are still refusing to quarantine from their families.

"So it’s looking almost certain they can’t have Christmas inside the big house at Sandringham.

"It is possible, of course, to arrange a smaller one for Philip and the Queen at Wood Farm cottage.

"But moving the Queen and Duke to Windsor, where they know the bubble works, makes it simpler to start planning to stay there for Christmas."

It comes after a team of about 20 employees had been asked to remain at Sandringham without their families to support Her Majesty and Prince Philip.

The group, including cleaners, laundry and maintenance workers, are believed to have refused because they would have to isolate from loved ones for four weeks.

A Sandringham source claimed the mutiny is "unprecedented" and the Queen is "furious" her staff have put their foot down at such a festive time of the year.

The source said: "The Queen is furious. The staff said enough is enough. It is absolutely unprecedented.

"Everybody wants to stay loyal but they feel they've been pushed too far by being made to isolate from their families for Christmas.

"Discussions are taking place with the team on operational matters but it is too early to speculate on implications for Christmas."

A Buckingham Palace spokesman insisted: "No final decision has been taken on Christmas."

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