Every year, the royal family gathers at Sandringham, the Queen’s Norfolk estate, for the festive period. But this year it seems the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and baby Archie might be absent around the Christmas dinner table.
Several reports have claimed that Harry and Meghan are considering joining her mother Doria Ragland in the US to celebrate Archie's first Christmas there.
The couple, who are set to begin a six-week break from royal duties next week, have plans to travel to the US for Thanksgiving, and there is a chance the trip could be extended to include the festive period.
Alternatively, they might opt to celebrate their first Christmas as a family-of-three quietly at home in Frogmore Cottage.
It is understood that couple have informed Prince Harry’s grandmother that they will not be joining her and Prince Philip this year.
“They need some time away to recharge and decide their plans for next year,” a royal source said, as reported by The Sun.
It has been a long-standing tradition for the Royal Family to spend the festive period at Sandringham and attend the annual Christmas Day service at Church of St Mary Magdalene.
Except for 2012, when he was in Afghanistan, the Duke of Sussex has always spent Christmas at the Queen’s Norfolk home.
In 2017 Meghan spent her first Christmas with the Royal Family, at Sandringham, joining the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children on Christmas Day.
The Christmas celebrations saw the Queen deviate from tradition when she invited the former actress to join the royals.
The move will no doubt reignite rumours of strained relationships within the royal family, coming just weeks after Prince Harry finally addressed rumours of a reported rift with his brother Prince William.
The Duke of Sussex opened up in a documentary about him and his wife’s recent tour of Africa, claiming him and William are “certainly on different” paths and admitting: “Inevitably stuff happens”.
But Harry and Meghan could simply want to spend baby Archie’s first Christmas as a family or with Meghan’s mother.
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Alternatively, the couple may be looking to adopt a more modern approach to the celebrations.
Wherever Meghan and Harry choose to spend the festive season, it offers proof that the royal family are just like any other when decided how and where to be on the big day.