Will we see the Queen in Norfolk this Christmas?
- Credit: Antony Kelly
Could Plan B drive a coach and horses through the Queen's Christmas plans?
The 95-year-old monarch was previously said to be looking forward to enjoying a festive break at Sandringham with her family.
The royals were forced to cancel last year's gathering at Her Majesty's Norfolk retreat because of lockdown.
Family members celebrated at their own homes, while the Queen spent Christmas with her husband, Prince Philip, who died aged 99 in April.
The Queen had reportedly planned a get-together including most of her extended family this December.
Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge and the Yorks, the Laurences and Wessexes were expected to travel to Norfolk along with their extended families.
Prince Harry and the Duchess of Sussex were reported to have chosen to remain at their home in America with their two young children, after a recent TV documentary further soured relations between them and other family members.
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But after new measures including the mandatory wearing of masks were brought in to stem the spread of the highly-infectious Omicron strain of the coronavirus, there were hints from government scientists that even tougher curbs could be needed.
Buckingham Palace said it was not yet offering any guidance on whether the Queen would be coming to Norfolk for Christmas. So far, the government has said families should spend time together and has not put any limit on the size of gatherings.
In the event the Royal Family do come to Norfolk, as apart from last Christmas they have done every year since 1988, there will be question marks over one much-loved tradition.
Thousands of well-wishers gather each year to greet the Queen and her family when they attend the Christmas Day service at Sandringham Church.
New guidelines require all those attending unseated outdoor events with an attendance of more than 4,000 to have an NHS Covid Pass, on the NHS app or proof of a negative lateral flow test.
So those who have not had all the jabs which they are entitled to may not be able to attend.