Princess Anne’s Husband Tests Positive for COVID-19 Ahead of Christmas Plans With Queen Elizabeth


Princess Anne and her husband, Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, won’t get to spend the holidays with Queen Elizabeth after all, despite all of the monarch’s safety precautions.

Laurence tested positive for COVID-19 this week, so per the U.K. government’s coronavirus guidelines, the couple is now isolating in their Gloucestershire home for the next ten days. This means they will also have to miss out on the monarch’s pared-down Christmas celebrations. This holiday season is the first Queen Elizabeth has spent without her late husband Prince Philip, who passed away at age 99 in April. 

The report comes only one day after the royal decided to call off her usual trip to Sandringham, her estate in Norfolk, England, where she spends Christmas and New Year’s, due to surging cases in the U.K. from the omicron variant. Instead, the queen will remain at Windsor Castle, where she has spent the majority of the pandemic, and celebrate the holidays there. A royal source confirmed that move to PEOPLE, explaining that it was a personal decision made after “careful consideration” and reflects the royal family’s ongoing “precautionary approach.”

This is the second year the queen has had to stay at Windsor Castle instead of engaging in her usual seasonal travel because of the pandemic. Last week, the monarch also announced that she was canceling her traditional pre-holiday family lunch for a second year in a row as a precautionary measure. The pre-holiday luncheon usually takes place at Buckingham Palace and is attended by dozens of guests, including the queen’s four children, eight grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren.

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