As we discussed yesterday, there’s a suspicious rumor going around the British tabloids that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will spend Christmas in LA with Doria Ragland, Meghan’s mom. I was doubtful of the story, and I even had a conspiracy theory about what was really happening (the Cambridges deflecting, basically). But I forgot that ‘tis the season to spend endless hours writing about and talking about royal Christmas plans. I’m getting flashbacks from last year, when at this time in 2018, the smear campaign against Meghan had taken hold and then Meghan and Harry were expected to turn up at Sandringham so that William and Kate could play the heroic diplomats. Well, Vanity Fair says that Meghan and Harry have not finalized their Christmas plans and it’s possible they could spend more time in America this holiday season:
While Buckingham Palace will not comment on the family’s private plans, sources close to Harry and Meghan, who are taking a six week break from royal duties later this month, have told VF.com that “there is a possibility” the couple may stay in the US for the entire holiday season.
“The plans have not been finalized,” a source told Vanity Fair. “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.”
Several sources said that they may want to stay longer in the United States because they are still searching for a potential second home in Los Angeles. The Sussexes are due spend Thanksgiving with Meghan’s mother Doria at her home in LA. It will be baby Archie’s first trip to the States and the couple are said to be looking forward to their first Thanksgiving as a family. “It has always been important to Meghan that Archie grows up aware of his American heritage and they plan to spend more time in the States as he grows up,” confirmed a friend of the Duchess. “They’ve not had much time off and this feels like the right moment to take a proper break.”
“The Queen won’t want it to fuel any more rift rumors,” says Sally Bedell Smith, the Queen’s biographer. “Given that Harry and Meghan didn’t go to Balmoral over the summer, it could be seen as another piece of evidence that they 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. It will be a useful time for the couple to re-stock re assess 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.”
I really feel like the Queen is realizing that Harry and Meghan have figured out that they’re being shoved under the bus to embiggen Prince Andrew and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Harry seems especially distrustful of his family these days. That being said, every minute we spend fussing over this is a minute we’re not focused on the fact that William and Kate are probably going to Bucklebury this Christmas and they won’t be criticized for it at all if the Sussexes’s Christmas plans are getting all the attention. Also: The Sun says that the Sussexes haven’t figured out what they’ll do either, but they’ve already told the Queen they’re not coming to Sandringham.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will not join the Queen for Christmas. They have chosen to spend baby Archie’s first festive season away from Sandringham. The Sussexes could stay at home in Windsor or travel abroad to be with Meghan’s mum Doria Ragland. A source said that the couple — parents to six-month-old Archie — “needed to recharge their batteries”.
A royal source said: “They need some time away to recharge and decide their plans for next year.” Harry has always spent Christmas at the Queen’s Norfolk home, except for 2012 when he was in Afghanistan — and for the past two years he has been joined by Meghan, 38.
Royal biographer Ingrid Seward said: “Christmas at Sandringham can be quite stressful so perhaps they don’t want to go with Archie at such a young age. Having said that, Sandringham has played host to many many children through the ages and is well set up for them. I think it’s sad they don’t want to be part of the family gathering, particularly now the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are in their dotage. The Queen might be a little hurt but she’s far too gracious to ever let it show or be known.”
Meghan and Harry also skipped the royals’ annual holiday in Balmoral this year. Ms Seward added: “It does seem to be nothing to do with Archie and to do with their own personal feelings.”
I mean… if the eventual endgame is “Harry and Meghan leave the royal family and set up a home abroad,” then these are the first steps. If their intention is to stay and fight for their rightful place at the table and refuse to be chased off by bitchy media people, palace bullies and Work-Shy Will, then they’re doing it wrong. If you’re asking me what my prediction is… it’s that they spend Christmas in Windsor, possibly with Doria visiting, and then maybe they drive to Sandringham on Christmas morning to go to church with the Queen. That would be an easy solution to all of this.
Photos courtesy of WENN and Avalon Red.