LONDON — Prime Minister Boris Johnson requested Britons on Wednesday to suppose twice about vacation socializing because the Omicron variant rampages by the nation. A day later, Queen Elizabeth II canceled her annual pre-Christmas lunch for the royal household, in line with folks with connections to Buckingham Palace.
The queen’s determination to name off the lunch for the second 12 months in a row comes as Britain reported a record 78,610 new infections from the virus on Wednesday. Palace officers mentioned it was a precautionary measure to keep away from placing relations in danger by bringing a big group collectively at Windsor Citadel.
The pre-Christmas meal is a longstanding custom for the Home of Windsor, assembling kids, grandchildren, cousins and different members of the prolonged household earlier than the queen leaves for Sandringham, her nation property in Norfolk, the place she celebrates the vacation together with her quick household.
Elizabeth, 95, has largely receded from public view since October, when she abruptly canceled a visit to Northern Eire after what palace officers characterised as exhaustion. She has continued to conduct video calls and taped a speech to welcome delegates to the United Nations’ local weather convention in Scotland.
The queen sequestered herself inside Windsor Citadel together with her husband, Prince Philip, for the primary 12 months of the pandemic. When Philip died in April, coronavirus restrictions pressured the queen to grieve alone in a choir stall at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor, stored aside from different members of her household.
However the queen ventured again onto the general public stage after that, welcoming leaders to the Group of seven summit in Cornwall and taking part in host to President Biden and his spouse, Jill, at Windsor Citadel in June. She was a spry presence at these occasions, although palace officers mentioned she overdid it and have become fatigued.
The royal household’s vacation celebrations have been already going to be lacking key members: Prince Harry and his spouse, Meghan, in addition to their kids, Archie and Lilibet, usually are not anticipated to journey from their residence in Montecito, Calif., to Britain for Christmas.