Royals Gather for Traditional Christmas Lunch as Prince Andrew Faces Heightened Epstein Ties Scrutiny

Royal Departures from Festive Gathering

Zara Tindall and Princess Eugenie, among other members, were pictured leaving Windsor Castle after attending a Christmas lunch hosted by King Charles III.

The lunch also included Prince Andrew, who faces potential further scrutiny over his connections to Jeffrey Epstein, the financier accused of child exploitation.

Attendees at the Festive Event

The royal gathering comprised various family members, such as Princess Anne’s son Peter Phillips, the Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi.

Notably, this gathering is a rare occasion when the entire extended royal family comes together, an event usually preceding the monarch’s departure for the holiday season at Sandringham.

Traditions and Previous Reunions

During this festive meal, seated at round tables, the royal family indulges in a Sandringham-bred turkey lunch and participates in the customary pulling of crackers.

This event marks a significant family union, especially for members who don’t receive invitations to the senior royals’ Christmas celebrations in Norfolk.

Prince Andrew’s Situation and Ongoing Epstein Scrutiny

Amidst this gathering, Prince Andrew faces renewed scrutiny over his ties to Jeffrey Epstein. Recent rulings by US Judge Loretta Preska indicate the release of documents concerning individuals associated with Epstein’s activities, including accusations by Johanna Sjoberg alleging inappropriate behavior by Prince Andrew.

Previous Christmas Gatherings and Covid-19 Impact

The annual Christmas lunch in 2021 was canceled due to concerns regarding the Omicron variant, marking the first time the traditional event had been called off since 2019, owing to the pandemic.

Additionally, the family was last united in a similar manner at the Queen’s funeral in 2022, making it the most extensive reunion since then.

Recent Festive Engagements and Upcoming Christmas Plans

Earlier this month, senior royals, including Kate, Prince William, and their children, attended the Princess of Wales’s annual Christmas carol service, where children involved in charitable efforts were honored.

The King and Queen are expected to celebrate Christmas at the Norfolk Estate, likely accompanied by other royal family members, adhering to customary traditions such as attending church and sharing a festive lunch.

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