VF: Prince Harry & Meghan won’t travel to England before Christmas

The British Royal family arrive at Sandringham to celebrate Christmas Day

The Duke and Duchess of Montecito are very happy where they are, thank you very much. But it’s funny to see both American and British media outlets try to turn that simple fact into some kind of scandal. Do I think that Harry & Meghan would have preferred to spend this year traveling and working? For sure. But they aren’t unhappy – they live in a giant mansion with a million bathrooms, they have tons of space for Archie and the dogs, and they’re working on a million Netflix and charity projects. They’re totally fine. Not only that, but they can go out on date nights and no one bugs them:

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have been making time for each other as they settle into their new community of Montecito. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrived hand-in-hand at Lucky’s Steakhouse on Oct. 6, where they had a cozy date night with friends Katharine McPhee and David Foster.

“Sometimes they do solo dates,” a source tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue, “and sometimes with friends.” The laidback Santa Barbara area offers an ideal lifestyle for the couple, who had been craving a slower pace. In town, “no one really bothers them,” the source adds.

[From People]

I think that’s probably true, especially how little we’ve seen of them IN Montecito – I’m sure there are paparazzi in town permanently, looking to disrupt sh-t. But I also think that in those wealthy enclaves like Montecito, people mind their business and keep their mouths shut. Which is why Harry & Meghan will be spending Christmas in California, thank you very much:

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle won’t be returning to the United Kingdom before the end of the year, and plan to spend Christmas at their new home in Los Angeles. There had been speculation that Harry was planning to return to his homeland following reports of activity at the couple’s Frogmore Cottage home in Windsor, where aides had reportedly been told to prepare for the royal’s arrival. However sources close to the Duke have told Vanity Fair that Harry isn’t planning to cross the Atlantic any time soon because of the pandemic.

“Global travel has been made very complicated by the coronavirus pandemic and at the moment the Duke has no plans to travel back to the UK, certainly not before Christmas,” said the source. “The problem is if he comes over then he has to quarantine and that makes things quite difficult.”

Harry and Meghan are said to be looking forward to spending their first American Christmas together in their new Montecito home. It will be the second year in a row the Sussexes have missed Christmas with the Queen and the royal family. Last year they spent the festive season at a friends’ home in Canada.

With coronavirus cases rising in the UK and a possible ban on households mixing, all plans for the royals’ Christmas are also on hold. Nonetheless, the news that Harry won’t be coming home will likely be disappointing for the Queen, who is said to miss her grandson and great grandson Archie, whom she has not seen for a year.

Harry and Meghan had planned to come back to the UK at least once this year, in June, for Trooping the Colour, the Queen’s official birthday celebrations, and to visit the monarch at Balmoral. Sources say they will instead be returning to the UK after Christmas for the Meghan’s High Court case against the Mail on Sunday newspaper, which begins on January 11th. Meghan is suing the tabloid for breach of copyright after it published a private letter she wrote to her father Thomas Markle, and is required by law to appear in court in person. Sources say Harry and Archie will be making the trip to the UK with Meghan and that the family will base themselves at Frogmore in Windsor, where they will have to quarantine for two weeks.

The lengthy court battle is set to cost the Duchess £1.8m but sources say she is determined to have her day in court and will not settle with Associated Newspapers. While the visit to the UK will be an opportunity for the couple to be reunited with members of the royal family, there is also the prospect of Meghan coming face-to-face in the courtroom with her father, who she has not seen in over two years.

[From Vanity Fair]

Well… that’s exactly what I thought would happen? They’ll spend Christmas in California, but then they’ll travel (all together) to the UK just before New Year’s so they can quarantine before Meghan is due in court for the Daily Mail lawsuit. Something to look forward to, I guess. I’m sure there will be so many shenanigans around the royal-Christmas stories too.

sussex christmas card

sussex christmas

Photos courtesy of WENN, Avalon Red and Backgrid.

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46 Responses to “VF: Prince Harry & Meghan won’t travel to England before Christmas”

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  1. minx says:

    Haven’t everyone’s travel plans ground to a halt? It’s just life in 2020, sadly.

    • Seraphina says:


    • Elizabeth Regina says:

      Quelle surprise! As if there isn’t a global pandemic. As if they were not run out of town. I am rather confused though. I thought they were irrelevant ?

    • Mac says:

      The queen is doing events without a mask. Of course they aren’t going to stay with her for Christmas.

    • Anne Call says:

      There’s a lovely tradition in early December where boats are decorated and they have a “parade” in the Santa Barbara harbor. Hope they do it this year and hope the royals can watch! I was in Montecito today, but no sightings! It’s 90 degrees today, so they’re probably poolside.

  2. Snuffles says:

    Exactly. Why ruin Christmas? They will probably have an American Thanksgiving too, with Doria.

    I still don’t understand why she must be physically in the UK for the court case though. My father is a judge and he’s been doing virtual hearings since March.

    If she must, I’m looking forward to her court room runway walk.

  3. Lucylee says:

    Hope she does virtual testimony. Media are praying for photos of her entering and leaving court.

    • Snuffles says:

      Same. At this point, I fear the British Press are so hard up that they will literally be foaming at the mouth, clawing at her screaming “Give us our pound of flesh!” while shoving a hundred cameras in her face.

      And that may sound like an exaggeration, but I actually saw something like that once while I lived in LA and got stuck in the middle of a paparazzi swarm because Britney Spears happened to be getting pizza in the mini mall in front of my apartment building. It was DISTURBING. It was pre head shaving but having witnessed that, I wasn’t the least bit surprised she cracked.

      • Anne Call says:

        I was leaving Nobu in Malibu (after watching Kanye and Kendall and the other one flitting around the restaurant) and Kim was arriving as we were leaving. Quite the show that she was putting on and the photographers run around like self important idiots.

        Also, I’m sure she’ll do her court case virtually. Especially if she’s trying to get pregnant who would want to fly in the middle of a pandemic…

  4. Noki says:

    It is very curious how The Cambridges were alternating their Christmases with the Queen and Middletons and no one cared. It is also nauseating to see William trying to be the golden child with Charles after years of punishing him just to stick it to the Sussexes.

  5. Mignionette says:

    Shut the door! Really ? LMFAO.

  6. Becks1 says:

    I like how they try to make it sound like a big scandal, that they wont be back, and then say “well the whole royal Christmas is up in the air anyway.” LOL. Of course they’re not coming back for Christmas. They’re establishing their own family traditions and they want Archie to spend Christmases in California. I wonder if they’ll ever go back to the UK for Christmas, probably after last year, when Harry realized how nice it was to sleep in and spend the day in pajamas, lounging about and eating and having some wine and watching your kid crawl everywhere and then watching Its a Wonderful Life or Miracle on 34th Street – yeah, he’s not going back to Sandringham, lol.

    Also, I LOVE “duke and duchess of Montecito” – can we make that a thing??

    • Snuffles says:

      I just got the uwu-s picturing Harry in a tacky Christmas sweater, decorating his own tree for once and drinking spiked eggnog while listening to Christmas songs by Mariah Carey, Stevie Wonder and John Legend. Then dressing up as Santa for a delighted Archie!

      • Becks1 says:

        I mean, I don’t buy into the “poor rich royals” but there are some times when I feel bad for them, and Christmas day is one of them. When I say “feel bad” I mean just a smidge, bc its part of the price they pay for their lavish lifestyles. But church walk aside, the super formal day sounds pretty dreadful.

        I wonder if Charles will keep up with the formal Christmas day, or if he’ll loosen it up a bit.

        But for Harry, getting to choose the menu for once, decide when to go to church, if he wanted to go to church, etc – that was probably an eye opening experience. Even when Will and Kate skipped Sandringham they still did the church pap walk.

      • Molly says:

        Everything I’ve read about royal Christmas day sounds miserable. Especially with kids. I do hope Charles loosens things up when he’s in charge. He and Camilla both have young grandkids that I’m sure they’d love to see for reasons beyond “duty”.

      • Wiglet Watcher says:

        Didn’t Kate skip the church walk at least 1 year prior to Anmer Hall? There were loads of times she shunned the routines until she was gifted the estate and Carole was allowed to Sandringham for a day among other things.

    • Sofia says:

      They’ve already (hopefully) enjoyed 1 Christmas without the royals so I’m sure missing another one won’t be too hard

      • Snuffles says:

        True, but it will be SO much sweeter celebrating their first Christmas in THEIR home, creating their own new traditions.

  7. S808 says:

    Does Meghan have to be in the UK for court? Can she not testify or be present via Zoom?

    • Wiglet Watcher says:

      Everyone seems to be reporting she needs to be present or it’s highly preferred. I would speculate she would have more power with a physical presence than an image on a screen.

  8. Tiffany says:

    This is my 1st time seeing the fireworks pic from their reception,

    Their body language says a lot about this as a couple.

  9. Valiantly Varnished says:

    Petty Betty misses Archie? Sure, Jan.

    • Sofia says:

      The woman literally lived next door to him for how many months but I bet we can count on one hand how many times she actually actually came to visit.

  10. equality says:

    There are some outlets trying to claim that Harry is returning for Christmas without Meghan to have an important discussion with the Queen. Like somebody is supposed to believe that one or the other of them will be away from Archie at Christmas.

    • Lady D says:

      If her court case is on the 11th, and they have to quarantine for two weeks, they need to be in the UK by Dec 28th anyway.

      • MsIam says:

        That’s when the case begins, not necessarily when she will be called to testify. So Meghan could testify could later than that so they don’t have to rush over.

    • Myra says:

      Yeah, that’s not happening. I don’t see either parents being away from Archie for Christmas.

  11. Jezebel's Lacefront says:

    Good. Let them have peace throughout the holidays.

  12. Oh says:

    it is expected that they will not return to the UK for Christmas, and I am happy for that. I hope that next year they will also spend the Christmas away from that island, I really can’t stand to see them interacting with that inbreds .

  13. Amy says:

    I find it funny that the Daily Mail suddenly has several articles about the goings on in Montecito.

    • L4frimaire says:

      I would not be surprised if that paper not only hires paparazzi but also private investigators as well to find whatever they can. At least very little has come out so far. They run a tight ship, which shows to me just how indiscreet and unprofessional the people working at the palaces are.

  14. Harper says:

    The Duke and Duchess of Montecito! Fabulous! They will have a wonderful first Christmas in their new home with Archie and it will probably be just as quiet as it will be for most of us, considering the corona restrictions.

  15. Amy Bee says:

    I doubt the Queen is missing Harry and she’s definitely not missing Archie or Meghan. The woman only cares about herself and Andrew and it’s known that she doesn’t like young children. Archie being part black too, no she’s not grieving for him.

  16. MsIam says:

    Im glad this story was put out there to counter all of the ridiculous stories in the tabloids saying “ it’s not certain if Meghan was invited to the U.K.” As if! Meghan doesn’t need to be invited to stay at Frogmore, it’s her own damn home.

    • fluffy_bunny says:

      So Americans are only allowed in the UK if we are invited now? Cool. No interest in going and supporting their economy after all of the shit they’ve put H&M through.

  17. WintryMix says:

    I mean, *obviously* they’re not coming back for Christmas. Duh. My hope is that after the pandemic gives them a graceful excuse this year, in future years they’ll continue to stay in California because they’ve already established new traditions here. Fingers crossed.

    Also hoping that Meghan will testify remotely–it’s hard to me to fathom that that wouldn’t be an option? Can any UK legal folks speak to whether that’s been widely practiced there since the pandemic? It’s totally standard in the States. I would love for the British tabloids to be deprived of those entering-the-courthouse shots that they’re so clearly salivating for.

  18. Stef says:

    Are Americans even allowed to travel to the UK right now? I thought there were still COVID restrictions in place and very few countries are even open to American travellers….

  19. Emily says:

    They’ll be happier celebrating in CA with Meghan’s mom and whoever else Meghan considers family. Even if there hadn’t been a global pandemic, I easily could have seen them staying in the States for their first year as non-senior royals. Also Harry gets to properly celebrate his first American Thanksgiving in the States (I’m sure they celebrated before in the UK but it’s not the same celebrating overseas!).

    • Harper says:

      Having a good laugh picturing Harry passed out on the sofa in a turkey coma and then struggling to figure out the rules of this American football game that ‘s so popular.

  20. Le4Frimaire says:

    These types of stories are so annoying, as if there is no pandemic affecting international travel and that cases are creeping back up with colder weather coming. Also, when they go, they’ll have to quarantine, it’s a private trip so no ones business and the obsession will be whether they flew private or commercial first class, and how bad they are for the environment or exposed themselves and child to Covid, and who’s paying the electricity bill at Frogmore. These people always creating headlines out of speculation and what if’s.

  21. Mariane says:

    These people know nothing about their plans yet continue to publish lies about harry telling staff to make arrangements (as if he doesnt have a place in Frogmore!) then switch it to the obvious fact of them skipping Christmas because of covid. Next they’ll write that Meghan is denying harry to travel or lizzy punishing him or something. These people are pathetic. It’s clear that their only income/clicks are from sussex stories

  22. NotSoSimpleTaylor says:

    I think the Queen ordered him back and he refused.