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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle: Their first Christmas without the royal family


By Jennifer McShane
12th Dec 2019
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle: Their first Christmas without the royal family

Given the intrusiveness of the British tabloids this year, it will come as no surprise to hear Meghan Markle and Prince Harry will spend this Christmas in the US.


The couple has spent every Christmas since they got engaged in 2017 at the Queen’s Sandringham Estate.

However, this year, they will reportedly celebrate the festival in the US with their seven-month-old son Archie and Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland who lives in California.

A turbulent year

Such a move shouldn’t come as a surprise; the couple has had a big year with a number of royal tours and, of course, the birth of their baby son.

 

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Towards the latter half of the year, the intrusive nature of the British press became too much to bear as the couple were criticised for almost every move they made.

Related: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle respond to recent ‘air travel’ drama

Markle announced she had tried to adopt a “stiff upper lip” in response to her new role as a prominent public figure, but when tabloids published personal letters written by Markle to her estranged father, she announced she was taking legal action against the publisher of the Mail on Sunday in response.

Related: Meghan Markle sues media as Prince Harry likens her treatment to that of Princess Diana

Prince Harry likened his wife’s treatment to that of his mother, Princess Diana, citing a “relentless” campaign against his wife by some sections of the press and said he could no longer be a “silent witness to her private suffering”.

Breaking tradition

By spending the festive season outside the UK, the couple will break a number of royal traditions observed on Christmas, which the family follows every year.

 

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Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, along with other members of the Royal family, visit the Magdalene Church every year — they walk there from the Sandringham Estate located nearby.

Another Royal tradition that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will not be a part of is the Christmas Eve dinner and drinks party at St. James’s Palace.

Related: ‘Meghan Markle is being vilified just as Diana was’

Meghan and Prince Harry will also miss the session on Christmas Eve where members of the Royal family exchange gifts during afternoon tea. According to insiders, they will have afternoon tea, which is traditionally held between 4pm and 6pm, where gifts are exchanged.

A Buckingham Palace representative said last month that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s decision “has the support of Her Majesty the Queen”.

“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.”


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