The Queen is shedding some dead weight and has introduced a core group of eight senior royals as part of her new, slimmed down monarchy.
Prince Andrew, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle – who have all stepped down from their roles as senior royals, are no longer included in the line-up.
Prince Philip, who will turn 100 in June next year, retired from royal duties in 2017 and is also absent for the list.
The new, streamlined group is known as ‘The New Firm’ and appears to be an effort for the core eight to distance themselves and the monarchy from the scandals and negative media that have followed some of the royals.
The New Firm includes Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles and Camilla, Prince William and Kate, Prince Edward and his spouse, Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, and Princess Anne.
A royal insider told The Mirror that the group is excited to get back to work and restore the monarchy’s reputation, which has been marred by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s retirement and the allegations of sexual abuse against Prince Andrew.
“The family are united in exploring the possibilities in working with each other to highlight the causes dear to their hearts, helping each other and the country at the same time,” the source said.
“They are working on opportunities for next year and beyond already. As soon as they are able it will be all hands on deck to make up for lost time.”
A very royal Christmas
A decades-old royal tradition of spending the holiday period at Sandringham House has been broken due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Instead, for the first time since 1987, small celebrations will be held at Windsor Castle due to the restrictions placed on household guests.
And for the first time in 71 years, the Queen and Prince Philip will spend Christmas without their many children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren by their sides.
Prince William and Kate are “still trying to make plans”, given lockdown restrictions in the UK which only allow three families to visit over the Christmas period.
It is believed the Cambridges will return to the Middleton’s Bucklebury Manor in Berkshire to spend the holidays with Kate’s family.
Across the pond, Prince Harry and Markle will be having their first Californian Christmas as a couple.
The Sussexes are expected to enjoy a Christmas lunch with Markle’s mother, Doria Ragland, who lives close to their Santa Barbara home.