The Queen and Prince Philip confirm they will spend Christmas 'quietly in ...

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will spend Christmas 'quietly' at Windsor Castle and will not form a 'bubble' with any other family members.

The Queen 94, and Prince Philip, 99, traditionally spend the festive season with close family at Sandringham, in Norfolk. But this year they will forgo the festivities and remain at Windsor Castle, where they have been isolating with a 'bubble' of staff since October.

It is understood the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will not take advantage of the relaxed Covid restrictions to form a Christmas bubble with other households. 

It means the couple face spending Christmas Day without any of their four children for the first time since 1949, when the then Princess Elizabeth left a one-year-old Charles in the UK so she could be with Prince Philip in Malta.  

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall will spend Christmas at Highgrove, in Gloucestershire, although they expect to see the Queen and Prince Philip at Windsor at some point over the festive season. Camilla will also spend time with her family. 

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In Tier 2 regions, like Windsor, up to six people from different households are able to mix outdoors. This means the Queen and Prince Philip could meet with family members for horse riding or walks in the grounds of Windsor Castle. 

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will be spending Christmas at Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace has confirmed. Pictured, the Queen at Windsor Castle last month

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will be spending Christmas at Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace has confirmed. Pictured, the Queen at Windsor Castle last month

The Queen, 94, wrapped up warm as she took to the saddle of her favourite black pony earlier today in Windsor alongside Head Groom Terry Pendry

The Queen, 94, wrapped up warm as she took to the saddle of her favourite black pony earlier today in Windsor alongside Head Groom Terry Pendry 

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are likely to spend Christmas either at Anmer Hall, in Norfolk, or at the Middleton family home in Berkshire. 

Prince Edward, the Countess of Wessex and their children live at Bagshot Park, Surrey, while Princess Anne and her family live at Gatcombe Park, in Gloucestershire. Prince Andrew is the only one of the Queen's four children who lives in Windsor.

The Queen won't attend a church service on Christmas Day in order to prevent crowds gathering but is expected to worship privately in Windsor Castle's private chapel.

A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said this afternoon: 'Having considered all the appropriate advice, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have decided that this year they will spend Christmas quietly in Windsor.'  

The Queen and Prince Philip are currently isolating at Windsor Castle, which is located in a Tier-2 area, after leaving Norfolk for the month-long lockdown.  

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Prince Philip and the Queen have spent the year with a specially screened household dubbed 'HMS Bubble'. 

The Queen and the Duke had a summer holiday at Balmoral in August, but spent less than half their normal 10 weeks in Scotland due to coronavirus restrictions that limited visits from family and friends.

Prince Philip then wanted to return to Wood Farm and, in an unusual move, the Queen decided to join him before returning to Windsor last month. 

When she returned to Windsor alone at the start of October, the plan was for her to commute between Norfolk, Windsor and Buckingham Palace where she could have official engagements.

Seemingly, however, that has proved unworkable, and her only Royal visit has been a trip to the Porton Down military research laboratory near Salisbury. 

The Queen has, however, found time for horse riding and has been spotted out in Windsor in recent days. 

For the last 33 years, the Queen 94, has spent the festive season at Sandringham, where she hosts close family members and enjoys traditions such as the Boxing Day shoot. Pictured, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh with Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on Christmas Day in 2017

For the last 33 years, the Queen 94, has spent the festive season at Sandringham, where she hosts close family members and enjoys traditions such as the Boxing Day shoot. Pictured, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh with Prince Charles, the Duchess

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