Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Announce They Are Skipping Queen Elizabeth's Christmas Festivities

Multiple outlets report the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have other plans this year. Will they spend the holidays in Windsor or the U.S.?

By Elyse Dupre Nov 13, 2019 7:11 PMTags

UPDATE: A spokesperson for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle has confirmed that the couple will be skipping Christmas at Sandringham this year.

"The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are looking forward to extended family time towards the end of this month," the spokesperson said Wednesday. "Having spent the last two Christmases at Sandringham, Their Royal Highnesses will spend the holiday this year, as a new family, with the Duchess' mother Doria Ragland."

The royal statement continued, "This decision is in line with precedent set previously by other members of the Royal Family, and has the support of Her Majesty The Queen."


Christmas with The Queen? Not so fast…

While it's tradition for members of the royal family to join Queen Elizabeth at Sandringham House for the holidays, multiple outlets report that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle may have other plans.

For instance, "sources close to Harry and Meghan" tell Vanity Fair "there is a possibility" the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and their son Archie Harrison, may spend the celebratory season in the United States. Although, Buckingham Palace isn't commenting on the royal family's private plans.

"The plans have not been finalized," a source tells the magazine. "They will be in America for Thanksgiving later this month and there's a chance they might choose to stay out there a while longer which might mean missing Christmas." 

If the dynamic duo do cross the pond, they could stay with Meghan's mother, Doria Ragland. While The Sun also poses this possibility, it reports the Sussexes could spend Christmas at home in Windsor, as well. 

"They need some time away to recharge and decide their plans for next year," a source tells the publication.

Meghan Markle & Prince Harry Recreate Queen Elizabeth II Photo

Biographer Sally Bedell Smith tells Vanity Fair this "could be seen as another piece of evidence that [Harry and Meghan] are going their own way if they don't show up for Christmas." As royal admirers will recall, reports spread that Queen Elizabeth II had agreed to the creation of a new household for Harry and Meghan that would be separate from Prince William and Kate Middleton's.

"The Queen is pretty tolerant and she may not begrudge them missing Christmas given Meghan's mother is in the States," Smith continues. "It will be a useful time for the couple to re stock reassess and decide how they want to move forwards. Christmas at Sandringham is a deeply embedded tradition in the royal family however and it's expected that everyone will be there, but the Queen does sometimes make allowances."

David Fisher/Shutterstock

Speaking of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, The Sun reports William and Kate will spend the holidays at Sandringham along with their children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis. So, despite the recent reunion, a source tells Vanity Fair it's "highly unlikely" William and Kate would celebrate Christmas with Harry and Meghan.  

"Things between them are still not great," the source tells the magazine. "The feeling is that Harry and Meghan have rather alienated themselves from the rest of the family. If they do come for Christmas it might be a particularly frosty one."

But before royal admirers jump to conclusions, it should be noted that William and Kate have spent Christmas away from Sandringham, as well. In 2012, the couple spent the holidays with Kate's family in Bucklebury.

This article was originally published on Wed, Nov 13, 2019, 6:18 a.m.