Queen Elizabeth II has cancelled her pre-Christmas lunch at Windsor Castle despite initial reports that said she was intent on pushing through with it despite the rising Covid-19 Omicron variant cases.

Around 50 people including senior members of the British royal family were expected to attend the feast on Tuesday. One day after the lunch party, the 95-year-old was due to travel by helicopter to her Sandringham estate in Norfolk for the annual Christmas celebrations with her family.

According to a report in Mail Online, the British monarch has cancelled the lunch "with regret" as a precautionary measure to save the festive plans of her loved ones, as too many people's Christmas arrangements were at risk if it went ahead and there were Covid-19 cases at the gathering.

Royal sources said, "there is a belief that it is the right thing to do for all concerned."

The report comes after UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chief Medical Adviser to the government Chris Whitty urged the country only to socialise if necessary and avoid large groups and strangers to avoid contracting the virus. The warning led to many citizens changing their Christmas plans and triggered "tsunamis of cancellations" for pubs and restaurants.

Meanwhile, royal expert Camilla Tominey told viewers during her appearance on "This Morning Today" that the Queen was also considering leaving it "up to guests" over whether to attend her lunch party. "We thought the Queen was going to have a Christmas party for the extended family in Windsor on Tuesday, we think that's still going ahead...But apparently now they're wavering, like we all are," she had said.

It marks the second time that the Queen had to cancel the pre-Christmas lunch, which is usually held at Buckingham Palace. Last year's feast was cancelled due to tougher coronavirus restrictions put in place due to the surge of the Delta Covid strain.

This year marks the first time the monarch will have to spend Christmas without Prince Philip, her husband of 73 years who passed away in April this year. It is expected that she will still be joined by her close family members for the festivities at Sandringham.

Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth II Photo: POOL / Ben STANSALL