- There's a new snag in the royal family's holiday plans as members of the Queen's staff have reportedly rejected a proposal to create a "COVID bubble" for the holidays.
- The "bubble" would require an estimated 20 members of the royal staff to stay at the Queen's Sandringham Estate for a month without contact with anyone outside—including their own families, who they would not be able to see at all during the holiday season.
- The Queen is reportedly "furious" that her staff rejected the idea, as it may force her to spend Christmas at Windsor and break her 33-year-long tradition of celebrating the holidays at Sandringham.
According to a report from the Daily Mail, the Queen asked that a small staff of about 20 stay in a "COVID bubble" to work the holidays at her Sandringham estate in Norfolk. Staying in this "bubble" would mean that the staff members in question would not be permitted to leave the estate to see their own families for a full month during the holidays—and, unsurprisingly, they weren't exactly jazzed about the prospect.
"The group—said to involve cleaners, laundry and maintenance workers—are believed to have mutinied because they are unwilling to isolate from loved ones for four weeks," the Mail wrote.
If the staff isn't willing to create the safety bubble in Sandringham, the Queen will have to break her 33-year tradition of spending the holidays in Norfolk and could be forced to celebrate at Windsor Castle instead.
"The Queen is furious. The staff said enough is enough. It is absolutely unprecedented," a source told The Sun of the situation. "Everybody wants to stay loyal but they feel they've been pushed too far by being made to isolate from their families for Christmas. Discussions are taking place with the team on operational matters but it is too early to speculate on implications for Christmas."
Of course, the royal Christmas celebration will likely be impacted by COVID regardless of the royals' staffing situation, assuming the current "Rule of Six" mandate for small gatherings remains in place through December.