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The Queen is set to enjoy a ‘new normal’ Christmas this year – and may even appear in public for the first time since early autumn.

The 95-year-old monarch has either been resting or undertaking only ‘light’ desk duties following a mystery health scare.

But she has been given the go-ahead by doctors to throw her annual private pre-festive season party for extended family members for the first time since 2019, the Mail can reveal.

This year, however, it will take place at Windsor Castle and not Buckingham Palace, where it has traditionally been held for several decades. The Queen has lived in Berkshire since the start of the pandemic and has rarely set foot out of it in recent months.

The Queen is set to enjoy a ‘new normal’ Christmas this year – and may even appear in public for the first time since early autumn

The Queen is set to enjoy a ‘new normal’ Christmas this year – and may even appear in public for the first time since early autumn

The Queen is set to enjoy a ‘new normal’ Christmas this year – and may even appear in public for the first time since early autumn

But she will move her court to her Sandringham Estate in Norfolk for Christmas, where her nearest and dearest are all set to gather in time for Christmas Eve – as long as government advice does not change. 

Her Majesty is expected to fly to East Anglia by helicopter, rather than take the train as she normally does, in light of her age and general health.

Before she does, she will record her annual Christmas message, again at Windsor. It is likely to reflect on her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, who died aged 99 in April, as well as the ‘heartening’ show of community strength seen throughout the nation during the Covid pandemic.

The Mail understands that palace aides are also exploring options for the monarch to appear in public over the next two weeks to wish the country a very happy Christmas.

Although photographs and videos have been released by Buckingham Palace of the sovereign undertaking in-person and virtual audiences with foreign ambassadors, dignitaries and the Prime Minister, all meetings have taken place behind palace walls.

The hope is that the Queen will be well enough to take part in a short public engagement in the castle grounds. Her appearance will be seen as a ‘small shot of joy’ in difficult times.

Pictured: The Prince of Wales is joined by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children on December 25, 2019

Pictured: The Prince of Wales is joined by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children on December 25, 2019

Pictured: The Prince of Wales is joined by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children on December 25, 2019

‘It won’t be a normal Christmas, but like many families around the country, it will be as normal as it can get,’ a source said.

The Queen was last seen in public at a Windsor Castle reception on October 19. The next day, she cancelled a trip to Northern Ireland and was taken to hospital overnight for undisclosed ‘preliminary tests’. 

She was ordered to rest for several weeks and since then has undertaken a small number of low-key engagements, including recording a video message to be played at Cop26.

Also getting into the festive spirit yesterday was the Prince of Wales, who donated Christmas-themed snacks to Afghan refugees and people who lived in Grenfell Tower as he attended an Advent service in west London.

Source: Daily Mail UK

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