Christmas is more than a month away, but the conversation around where the royals will spend the holidays has already started. At the forefront are Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan, because an out-of-country in-law tends to complicating things. And that it did.
There were rumblings about whether the couple would pack up Archie and head to Los Angeles to hang with Meghan’s mom, Doria Ragland, or have Doria come to enjoy a quiet Christmas at Frogmore Cottage. And now we know it’s the latter — with The Queen’s permission, of course. Buckingham Palace issued a statement revealing how the Sussexes will be celebrating the holidays. “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are looking forward to extended family time towards the end of this month,” it read, via People. “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. 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 statement was likely released in an effort to quiet the speculation and get ahead of any wild reports, but they’ve already begun. According to Us Weekly, Harry and Meghan are skipping Sandringham because of what’s been going on between the royal brothers. “The rift between William and Harry is one of the main reasons behind their decision,” said one source, adding that “the drama surrounding the couple has caused a huge amount of stress. They’re making their family their No. 1 priority right now.”
With the exception of 2012, Harry has spent every year at Sandringham, so for many, the “snub” is all because of Meghan. But with everything they’ve endured over the last several months (years?), it’s understandable why they’d choose quiet over all the presumed pomp and circumstance.
The Sussexes aren’t the first ones to break with royal Christmas tradition. Will and Kate have spent the holidays with her parents, Michael and Carole Middleton, in years past, and Zara and Mike Tindall often go to Australia and spend Christmas there.
While some might argue that Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip aren’t getting any younger, over the years, Her Majesty has become more relaxed about everyone’s whereabouts during the holidays and, really, that’s all that matters. If she’s OK with it, everyone else should be too.