Queen's period of rest is 'working for her' says expert
The monarch, 95, has been under doctors' orders to rest after spending a night in hospital last month and pulling out of a number of major engagements. Despite recent concern for her health, the Queen plans to host Christmas in Sandringham as usual with other members of the Royal Family.
Insiders are delighted that the monarch is well enough to contemplate a return to normality at her first Christmas without her beloved husband.
The Duke of Edinburgh died in April just months before his 100th birthday.
It is thought that the Queen's first public engagement after the festive period may be a memorial service for Philip.
Palace officials are working on plans for a service in March, possibly at St Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey or St George’s Chapel in Windsor.
The Queen may not return to royal duties before a memorial event for Prince Philip in March
The monarch, 95, has been under doctors' orders to rest
The Queen is likely to mark her accession, and a landmark 70 years on the throne, at Sandringham on February 6.
However, it is always a quiet day for the Queen as it is the anniversary of her father King George VI’s death.
Her Platinum Jubilee celebrations will last all year but will be centred on a four-day bank holiday weekend in June.
Events at Buckingham Palace are due to begin in April.
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Prince Philip died in April just months before his 100th birthday
However, the new Covid variant could throw plans into disarray.
One source said: “It’s difficult to plan anything for certain at the moment.”
A palace spokesman said: “The family’s Christmas plans are a private affair.”
The Queen has been carrying out light duties since undergoing preliminary tests in King Edward VII's Hospital on October 20.
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The monarch has carried out a number of virtual audiences and in-person engagements this week
She also sprained her back earlier this month leading her to miss the Remembrance Sunday service.
The monarch has carried out a number of virtual audiences and in-person engagements this week.
She met Andrew Bailey, Governor of the Bank of England, on Wednesday at Windsor Castle.
She also received Lieutenant Colonel John Kaye, who delivered up his Stick of Office as he relinquished his appointment as Lieutenant of Her Majesty's Body Guard of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen at Arms.
The Queen pictured attending a royal double christening last weekend
The Queen went on to hold an audience with Prime Minister Boris Johnson by telephone on Wednesday evening.
The day before, she knighted her top royal physician, Professor Sir Huw Thomas, during a personal investiture at her Berkshire residence.
It is likely to have been Prof Sir Huw who advised the head of state to slow down after her night in hospital.
On Thusday, the Queen carried out two virtual audiences.
She welcomed the High Commissioner for Nigeria, Sarafa Tunji Isola, and then the Ambassador of Malaysia, Zakri Jaafar, via video-link on Thursday.
The high commissioner and ambassador, who were at Buckingham Palace, presented their credentials and those of their predecessors to the Queen, who was pictured on screen in her Oak Room sitting room at Windsor.
The monarch also attended a royal double christening last weekend.