Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are breaking royal tradition this year. Instead of celebrating Christmas next month with Queen Elizabeth II and the rest of the royal family at Sandringham House, the pair will be spending it somewhere a little more closer to the Duchess of Sussex's hometown.
Harry, 35, and Meghan, 38, will be spending the holidays with the former Suits actress' mom, Doria Ragland in California.
Buckingham Palace released a statement regarding the duo's holiday plans on November 13. “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are looking forward to extended family time towards the end of this month. Having spent the last two Christmases at Sandringham, the couple will spend the holiday this year, as a new family, with the duchess’ mother, Doria,” the statement read. “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.”
The pair first spent Christmas with the Queen, Prince Charles, Prince William and Kate Middleton at Sandringham House in Norfolk in December 2017. The meeting took place just six months before Meghan married her longtime love.
Meghan and Harry are also doting parents to their six-month-old son, Archie Harrison, whom they plan to travel with to Los Angeles later this month. The couple will be celebrating Thanksgiving with Doria and are set to take a six week vacation for some “much needed family time." The trip will mark Archie's first time in America.
"The Duke and Duchess have a full schedule of engagements and commitments until mid-November, after which they will be taking some much-needed family time," a source told the The Sunday Times last month. They will reportedly spend Thanksgiving with Meghan's mother Doria in Los Angeles and head back to England for Christmas with the Queen and other members of the royal family at Sandringham.
The Queen's biographer, Sally Bedell Smith, explained to Vanity Fair how Meghan and Harry's absence from Christmas will affect the royal family. The author revealed, "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...The Queen is pretty tolerant and she may not begrudge them missing Christmas given Meghan's mother is in the States."
She added, "It will be a useful time for the couple to restock and 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."
The royal duo also spent the winter holidays with the Queen in December 2018, six months after tying the knot that May. The yoga instructor was "not formally invited" to the festivities. “She is of course welcome at Sandringham. But she wasn’t formally invited for this Christmas," a source spilled to Us Weekly at the time.
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