Queen Elizabeth And Prince Philip Break Royal Christmas Tradition That Has Been Around For Decades

This holiday season is shaping up to be a lot different than most. So far, many families around the globe are preparing to celebrate Christmas Day virtually instead of getting together.

And, as it turns out, the same goes for the royal family.

It was recently announced that Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip are going against the grain by breaking a long-standing Christmas tradition.

The holiday season is one of the most wonderful times of the year for many people all around the world.

Christmas is definitely one of the biggest holidays and it is during this time that people love to get nostalgic and revisit old movies or traditions that get them in the Christmas spirit.

The royal family may be, well, royal, but they're not unlike other families. They, too, have their own Christmas traditions.

After all, even the most famous people in the world like getting together with their families to celebrate such a joyous occasion!

So what are some of these sacred traditions?

Presents, for instance, are always opened on Christmas Eve during tea time in the Red Drawing Room.

This always takes place at the queen's country home in Norfolk, called the Sandringham Estate.

While there, Prince William and Prince Harry like to play a Christmas Eve game of soccer ("football," to them).

Since this takes place on the famous estate, the royal brothers play alongside staff members of the estate.

Those on Team William reportedly wear Aston Villa socks while Team Harry wears Arsenal wear.

But sadly, this year is shaping up to be a lot different than most.

Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip have been forced to break their own Christmas tradition.

This is something that has not happened in a very long time.

Instead of spending the holidays at their Norfolk home with the rest of the royal family, they are choosing to isolate privately at home.

To be fair, this is definitely one of the most responsible things they could be doing, especially since, because of their age, they are considered high risk when it comes to the pandemic.

A Buckingham Palace spokesperson told *Town & Country*:

“Having considered all the appropriate advice, the Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh have decided that this year they will spend Christmas quietly in Windsor."

A royal insider also confirmed the news to People.

"They are fortunate to spend Christmas with their family every year, but they understand that their family will have competing demands over the Christmas period and are content to have a quiet festive season this year."

"Like everyone, their hope is that normality will return in 2021," the source added.

By doing so, they're surprisingly not the first royal couple to break this tradition.

That was actually Kate Middleton and Prince William!

They've broken this rule twice now by spending Christmas with Kate's family during her first pregnancy and then when Charlotte was a baby.

Such royal rebels!

But it's obviously a much bigger deal for Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip to skip out.

After all, they've spent every Christmas holiday at Sandringham since 1988. This royal tradition led to many more special ones.

Every Christmas Day, for example, the couple would walk together to the church services at the estate's St. Mary Magdalene church.

This had become a special event that royal fans cherished, as they would line up along the path and hope to catch a glimpse of the royal family.

Last year was especially special since Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip were joined by their great-grandchildren: Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

While younger family members typically don't partake in the Christmas walk, either a special exception was made or they were deemed old enough.

It might seem a little weird, or odd to you, but the royal family definitely has a ton of very specific traditions that they partake in.

Either way, fans were absolutely delighted.

Unfortunately, this holiday season is shaping up to be incredibly different for multiple royal family members.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, for instance, won't be traveling to London from their residence in L.A. to celebrate Christmas with the royal family.

"At this stage they are really enjoying their new life in California and their new home," a source told *Vanity Fair*.

"There are currently no plans for them to return to the U.K. for Christmas," they added.

It's a similar story for Prince William and Kate Middleton and their children.

Since Prince George and Princess Charlotte are still attending in-person school, it's highly unlikely that the family will be visiting Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip.

At the end of the day, with the queen being 94 and Philip being 99, the couple's health comes first.

Regardless of what ends up happening, we hope that they all have a merry Christmas!