According to NBC News, a Buckingham Palace source said that the monarch, who is 95 years old, decided to relocate the festivities to Windsor Castle, England rather than traveling to Sandringham.

According to the source, the decision was taken because COVID-19 cases in the United States and across the pond are on the rise. There has been an increase in the number of cases due to reports about the omicron variant.

Queen Elizabeth II records Christmas Broadcast

After recording her Christmas Day broadcast, Queen Elizabeth II sits at a Buckingham Palace desk.John Stillwell/WPA Pool/Getty Images

The source said that members of the royal family will still be present for the Windsor celebration during Christmastime. However, they must follow safety guidelines.

This is the second consecutive year that the queen has departed from the tradition. The coronavirus concern led to the cancellation of last year’s trip by Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth, who both died in April at the age of 99.

“Having considered all of the relevant advice, the Queen & the Duke have decided that this Christmas they will spend it quietly in Windsor,” a spokesperson for Buckingham Palace told NBC News.

Christmas Broadcast

In 1952, Queen Elizabeth II broadcasts her first Christmas broadcast from Sandringham House in Norfolk.

The queen would typically gather with her grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and children at Sandringham House during the holidays. The family would go to St. Mary Magdalene on Christmas morning for services. For the ritual, many people travel by foot from the main house towards the church.

The religious ceremony was over. After that, the queen would return to her home to give her televised Christmas Day speech. In 1957, she delivered her first televised Christmas speech. Before that, messages were broadcast via radio.

While the tradition of trekking to Sandringham has been around for a while, royals have changed their Christmas plans several times over the years. The family spent many holiday celebrations near Windsor Castle in the 1960s because Prince Philip and the queen were still young. The pair didn’t attend the Sandringham commemoration in 2016 because they had “heavy colds”.

Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth II celebrate Christmas at Windsor Castle in 1969 as they finish decorating a tree.

While the family will likely not experience a change of scenery, it will be the first Christmas without her husband.