The holidays are a wonderful time to reconnect with family, but they can also be a stressful event that leave people feeling physically exhausted and emotionally depleted. For the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, their decision to skip the family tradition of spending the holidays at Sandringham has caused yet another rift among the royals, with Harry’s grandmother Queen Elizabeth reportedly unhappy with the pair’s decision. To be fair, the couple need a break.
According to Us Weekly, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are reportedly planning a “small Christmas with just immediate family,” including their new son Archie and Markle’s mother Doria Ragland. The couple made the announcement earlier this month with Buckingham Palace releasing an official statement. “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are looking forward to extended family time towards the end of this month,” reads the November 13 statement. “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.”
While the official word is that Queen Elizabeth supports the couple’s decision for a low-key Christmas, it looks like that may not be the case. In the latest issue of Us Weekly, the magazine quotes a source close to Her Majesty the Queen who says the 93-year-old monarch is ‘disappointed’ by the Duke and Duchess’ decision. Well, it would be weird if she wasn’t disappointed, right? Grandmas are supposed to want to spend the holidays with their grandchildren, even when they’re adults.
The source also adds that one of the reasons the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are skipping Christmas at Sandringham is because of the ongoing rift between Prince Harry and Prince William. The source notes that the immense amount of pressure on the couple over the past year also contributed to their decision, with Harry and Meghan looking forward to a stress-free Christmas. “As it’s Archie’s first Christmas, they want it to be super special,” says the source. “It’ll be just Doria and the three of them. The drama surrounding the couple has caused a huge amount of stress. They’re making their family their No. 1 priority right now.”
As if having your first child isn’t already stressful enough (it is), the relentless pursuit of the couple by the British press has reached a boiling point since baby Archie was born, with Harry and Meghan breaking royal protocol to file a lawsuit against the Mail on Sunday on October 1, accusing the tabloid of printing false stories and outright lies to cast Markle in a negative light. Details about the lawsuit have recently been released and highlight false statements made by the paper about Markle’s relationship with her father, her baby shower, and renovations the couple make to their home at Frogmore Cottage. If the new family wants to celebrate the holidays by spending all day in matching pajamas while watching Hallmark movies (we assume), we don’t blame them.