Home for the holidays. While we’ve heard whispers of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attending the royal family’s Christmas dinner, it sounds like a trip across the pond isn’t currently in the cards for the Sussexes. A new report claims that the California-based couple are “not coming” to the U.K. for Christmas with the Queen.
This year will mark the 95-year-old monarch’s first Christmas since her husband Prince Philip’s death in April 2021. Following his death, there have been numerous reports about the Queen’s health issues, leading many to wonder if Prince Harry, 37, and Meghan, 40, would make the trip out with their children—2-year-old Archie and 5-month-old Lilibet—to see the aging royal this holiday season. According to a source who spoke to Page Six on November 17, 2021, an “invitation” was already sent out to the Sussexes, but royal staffers aren’t holding their breath when it comes to getting an RSVP from the couple.
“There’s a lot that goes into the logistics and the planning of the family Christmas, so of course, staff know that Harry and Meghan are not coming,” one source told the site. “If they were, they would have communicated it to their family by now.” The insider went on to note, “But this is Her Majesty’s first Christmas without her husband, so one would have hoped they would want to be with her.”
So, why aren’t Meghan and Harry attending? Well, according to Page Six’s source, the couple are wary about the media backlash that they may face once they return to the U.K. “I think everyone understands there will be a frenzy when they both come back to the UK, but they need to rip the [Band-Aid] off and get on with it,” the insider said.
Meghan and Harry have not spent Christmas with the royal family since 2018. The couple opted to break royal tradition in 2019 by spending the winter holidays with their son Archie in Canada. Then, in 2020, the Sussexes were unable to visit the royal family for Christmas a second time due to travel restrictions that prevented them from visiting the U.K. from California, which is where they relocated following their royal exit earlier that year. Needless to say, it’s been quite a while since the Duke and Duchess have celebrated Christmas with the rest of the royal family—and it looks like this will continue to be the case this holiday season.