Prince Harry and Meghan Markle may be passing on a customary Christmas celebration with the Queen at Sandringham, her country retreat. As The Sun reports, “they need some time away to recharge and decide their plans for next year.” They also skipped the traditional royal holiday at Balmoral this year.
“The Queen might be a little hurt,” royal biographer Ingrid Seward told the paper. “But she’s far too gracious to ever let it show or be known.”
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 Meghan has attended the celebrations as well. But this year, the two need a bit of a break. Fair enough–Christmas at Sandringham sounds like a nightmare. The event lasts three days, and includes multiple public trips to church, at least five full outfit changes, and gendered meals. At breakfast, the men are served a “full English” (beans, toast, eggs, sausage, whatever other brown food the British insist upon consuming), and women get grapefruit. Just grapefruit!
Harry and Meghan welcomed their son Archie just six months ago, and Meghan worked through most of her maternity leave. They recently returned from a royal tour of Africa, which lead to a documentary that included multiple viral clips: Meghan’s admission that she wasn’t doing well in the wake of attacks from the British press, and Harry’s confession that he and Prince William are “on different paths.” They are currently in a legal battle with the British tabloids, and have had what seems to be a wholly exhausting year.
The two have scheduled a six-week break from royal duties, during which they’re expected to visit Markle’s mother, Doria Ragland, in Los Angeles for Thanksgiving. (Markle hasn’t returned to California since her wedding.) She’ll presumably provide something more substantial than grapefruit.