It has been confirmed that Queen Elizabeth II will skip Christmas celebrations at Sandringham estate, for the first time in 32 years.

The queen along with her husband Prince Philip will "quietly" celebrate the festive season at her Windsor Castle amid the coronavirus pandemic. The castle in Berkshire has been the main residence of the couple since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in March.

Usually, the British monarch is joined by the rest of the British royal family for a traditional Christmas at Sandringham. However, the family will celebrate separately this year, with the monarch staying at Windsor, reports BBC.

Buckingham Palace confirmed on December 1st that "having considered all the appropriate advice", the queen has decided to remain at the Castle for the Christmas break.

"Like everyone they hope things will get back to normal in 2021," a palace spokesman said.

The announcement comes after weeks of speculations about who will be joining the queen for Christmas. It was recently confirmed that Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, will pass the holidays at Highgrove House in Gloucestershire. Coronavirus guidelines in the UK for Christmas suggest people form "bubbles" of three households over a five-day period.

The monarch has been staying at Windsor castle since March, except for a short period in August when she joined her family for a summer holiday at Balmoral Castle in Scotland. After the summer break, she returned to Windsor Castle from where she carried out her royal duties. Meanwhile, the Duke of Edinburgh went to Wood Farm on the Sandringham estate where he has been staying since retiring from public duties in 2017.

It's not clear yet whether the queen will travel to Sandringham after the festive season. According to the report, the 94-year-old likes to spend the first days of February at the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk as it was where her father, King George VI, spent his final days. The queen always spends the anniversary of his death on February 6 at the country house.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip
Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip retired to Windsor Castle, outside London, on March 19. POOL / Alastair Grant