Queen Elizabeth isn't letting her health concerns get in the way of the British royal family's annual Christmas celebrations. Following a brief hospitalization in October and amid doctors' orders that she rest, the Queen has reportedly provided a hopeful update about her health, promising that the holiday festivities will go on as normal.
The new update came by way of a royal source who told the Mirror that despite her recent health concerns, Her Majesty, 95, recently "told everyone she is feeling far better of late and is very much looking forward to welcoming them for Christmas." The source noted that "like many other families, this will be the first time Her Majesty can gather with her extended family after being kept apart for so long due to the coronavirus pandemic," which put a halt to traditional gatherings during the 2020 holiday season.
According to the source, the monarch is set to travel to Sandringham, her Norfolk estate, on or around Friday, Dec. 17. However, the Queen's trip to Norfolk will likely look a little different. While she typically travels via train from London to Kings Lynn, something that reportedly isn't completely off the table, it is more likely that the monarch will travel to Norfolk via a helicopter from Windsor in a journey that takes approximately 50 minutes. Once there, other members of the royal family will join her, with guests said to include Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, as well as Prince William and Kate Middleton and their three children – Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis. Other members of the family said to have invites include Prince Edward, Princess Anne, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, along with their respective partners and children. It is not expected that Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, and their two children, Archie and Lilbet, will make the trip overseas to attend the festivities. Also absent will be Prince Philip, who passed away in April.
When guests arrive, they will likely take part in a unique family tradition dating back to the early 1900s during King Edward VII's reign -pre- and post-dinner weighings. Royal expert Ingrid Seward Ingrid revealed to Grazia in 2018 that Her Majesty asks each of her guests to "weigh themselves" when they arrive using a set of antique scales. Guests are then weighed a second time following a turkey feast during a "candlelit dinner in the dining room" in the evening. The weighings are to ensure that members of the royal family are enjoying themselves and being "well fed."