The Queen's Staff Is Reportedly in Revolt About the Royal Family's Plan to Make Them Work in a "COVID Bubble"

The royal staff might refuse to work the holidays this year. 

  • There's a new snag in the royal family's (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab) 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.

The royal family's holiday plans (opens in new tab) have apparently hit a snag. Specifically? The royal staff (opens in new tab) are not having the Windsors' plan for making the holidays (opens in new tab) happen amid the COVID pandemic.

According to a report from the Daily Mail (opens in new tab), the Queen asked that a small staff of about 20 stay in a "COVID bubble" to work the holidays at her Sandringham estate (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab), 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 (opens in new tab) instead.

"The Queen is furious. The staff said enough is enough. It is absolutely unprecedented," a source told The Sun (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab) will likely be impacted by COVID (opens in new tab) regardless of the royals' staffing situation, assuming the current "Rule of Six" mandate for small gatherings remains in place through December.

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Kayleigh Roberts is a freelance writer and editor with more than 10 years of professional experience. Her byline has appeared in Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, The Atlantic, Allure, Entertainment Weekly, MTV, Bustle, Refinery29, Girls’ Life Magazine, Just Jared, and Tiger Beat, among other publications. She's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.