The Queen's housekeeper quits after staff revolt over Christmas 'bubble'

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 9 Dec 2020, 4:53PM
The Queen's staff refused to isolate with her for a month over Christmas at Sandringham. Photo / Getty Images
The Queen's staff refused to isolate with her for a month over Christmas at Sandringham. Photo / Getty Images

The Queen's housekeeper quits after staff revolt over Christmas 'bubble'

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 9 Dec 2020, 4:53PM

Queen Elizabeth's head housekeeper at her Sandringham estate has "mysteriously" quit her job after working for the monarch for 32 years.

Patricia Earl, 56, left her position following a staff rebellion against plans to isolate them from their loved ones for a month to form the Queen's Covid-19 bubble at Christmas, writes the Daily Mail.

The Sun reported that Earl was "embarrassed" when royal household staff refused to accept the plan for them to stay in the royal bubble at Sandringham.

She was a respected staff member and received the Royal Victorian Medal in 2018. The Royal Victorian Order, first established by Queen Victoria in 1896, is chosen at the Queen's discretion and often given to those who have served her or the royals with dedication.

Earl would not comment on her departure, but a Buckingham Palace spokesperson told The Sun it was "completely amicable".

A team of 20 or so employees were asked to stay on the Queen's Norfolk estate - apart from their families - to support her, the Duke of Edinburgh and other royals during the festive season.

The Queen's staff refused to isolate with her for a month over Christmas at Sandringham. Photo / Getty Images

But the staff, including cleaners, maintenance and laundry workers, refused as they were unwilling to be isolated from their loved ones for a month.

They were being asked to stay for four weeks so they could look after the Queen in the same bubble amid UK lockdown restrictions.

The Queen usually spends Christmas at Sandringham, arriving after the family Christmas party usually held at Buckingham Palace in December.

But the staff backlash means she and Prince Philip will now have to spend Christmas at Windsor Castle instead for the first time in 33 years.

Earlier this week it was announced that they will remain at Windsor for Christmas, where they've been isolating with a staff bubble since October.

It's understood they won't form a Christmas bubble with other royal households, meaning they'll be spending the day without any of their four children for the first time since 1949, when Elizabeth left 1-year-old Charles in the UK so she could be with Philip in Malta.

Vanity Fair's Katie Nicholl said the Queen wants her children and grandchildren to "enjoy Christmas with their other loved ones" and "not feel torn" amid the festive season.

"The Queen has said that this is the year for her family to enjoy Christmases with other family members and not feel torn, as they often do, when a royal Christmas takes priority."