Are Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Skipping This Royal Christmas Tradition Because of Archie?

Ever since it was confirmed that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle planned to skip the traditional Christmas gathering with the royal family in Sandringham, fans have wondered why. There has been no shortage of theories, from Prince Harry and Prince William feuding to Markle wanting to opt out of the stuffy gathering to take a break. One expert believes that baby Archie might be a big reason for their change of plans, however.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Christmas Archie
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry | UK Press Pool/UK Press via Getty Images

Prince Harry and Markle decided to skip the royal family Christmas

This time of year, the royal family gathers together with Queen Elizabeth, but the Sussexes decided to miss it this year.

That decision struck many as the couple snubbing the queen, despite a statement from Buckingham Palace that noted the queen was fine with their plans.

The statement explained: “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are looking forward to extended family time towards the end of this month. 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.”

The royal Christmas gathering can be demanding

Among the theories as to why Prince Harry and Markle changed their plans was the idea that the royal gathering is a “demanding” occasion.

Royal expert Angela Levin, in speaking on Sky News, noted: “It’s very demanding, it’s very regimented over Christmas. You know, you can’t eat after the Queen stops eating, you can’t go to bed unless the Queen has gone to bed. Everything is absolutely on time.”

She added: “I think if you are tense anyway it’s quite difficult.”

Is Baby Archie the reason for their change of holiday plans?

Despite the many theories floating around (and some of them may certainly have contributed to the decision), one royal expert believes that the couple simply wanted to spend the time with their baby and that’s more challenging at the royal celebration.

Royal expert Omid Scobie explained that the children are typically separated from the adults for parts of the day and Prince Harry and Markle don’t want to give up the time with Archie.

A CBC reporter told Scobie he “could not imagine taking the baby away from family at this time” and Scobie shared: “You have to remember Sandringham is quite a formal affair. On Christmas day when the family gets together for Christmas lunch, children are separate from the parents.”

He added: “They have their own celebration in the royal nursery so they wouldn’t have got to spend as much time with Archie as perhaps they would have liked.”

Their time spent in Canada, he said, will give them a more relaxed atmosphere together, explaining: “This is going to be much more laid back surroundings for them and of course we know Meghan has a lot of friends in Toronto and in the surrounding areas as well so they’re going to have sort of a revolving door of guests coming to see Archie, maybe for the first time.”