Is This the First Time Prince Harry Has Skipped Christmas With Queen Elizabeth?

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will not be traveling to Sandringham to spend Christmas with Queen Elizabeth this year. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are reportedly skipping out on a royal Christmas with Her Majesty in favor of spending the holiday alone with their son, Archie Harrison. But is this the first time the Sussexes have not spent Christmas with Queen Elizabeth and the rest of the royal family?

Prince Harry Queen Elizabeth Christmas
Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, and Queen Elizabeth | Photo by John Stillwell – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Prince Harry and Markle skip Christmas with Queen Elizabeth

Queen Elizabeth invites members of the royal family to Sandringham every Christmas, yet Prince Harry and Markle have declined her invitation for this year’s festivities.

Instead, the couple is planning on either staying at home at Frogmore Cottage or visiting Markle’s mother, Doria Ragland, for the holidays. The two are already scheduled to fly to Los Angeles later this month to spend Thanksgiving with Ragland, so they could just stay a few more weeks for Christmas.

According to Fox News, an inside source claims that Harry and Meghan are avoiding Sandringham so that they can get a much-need rest from the royal family and “recharge their batteries.”

This is the first time Prince Harry and Markle will not be spending Christmas with Queen Elizabeth. The Sussexes joined Her Majesty when they were dating in 2017 and again as a married couple last year.

Queen Elizabeth has not commented on the decision, though there is a chance it could put even more stress on Harry and Markle’s relationship with the rest of the royal family.

Why are Prince Harry and Meghan Markle spending Christmas alone?

Meghan and Harry recently opened up about their struggles in the documentary, Harry and Meghan: An African Journey.

The Duchess of Sussex admitted that she has been barely surviving behind the scenes while Prince Harry all but confirmed that he is feuding with his older brother, Prince William.

With the pair skipping out on Christmas with Queen Elizabeth, some royal experts believe the real reason behind their decision is because they don’t want to deal with the extra attention.

Apart from opening presents with the rest of the royal family on Christmas Eve, the royals always make a public appearance on Christmas Day when they venture out for church.

Given all the backlash they have received from their bombshell interviews, it makes sense that Prince Harry and Markle would want to stay out of the limelight until things cool down.

How does Queen Elizabeth feel about the snub?

Christmas at Sandringham is a pretty big deal for Queen Elizabeth and the rest of the royals.

Her Majesty typically travels to the estate via train a week before anyone else arrives. Everyone who is invited is welcomed at different times, depending on their rank within the royal family.

Queen Elizabeth has remained silent on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s apparent snub, though Ingrid Seward, a royal biographer, believes Her Majesty is probably hurt by their decision to skip Christmas.

“The Queen might be a little hurt but she’s far too gracious to ever let it show or be known,” Seward shared.

Seward added that it is unlikely the couple’s son has anything to do with them staying home. Other members of the royal family have brought their little ones to Sandringham in the past, and the estate is well equipped to handle children.

Queen Elizabeth is well aware of this, which probably is only hurting her feelings even more.

Royal experts react to Prince Harry and Markle’s Christmas decision

While we wait to see how the rest of the royals react, experts have already offered their thoughts on the situation.

Most royal experts agree that skipping out on Christmas at Sandringham is a bad move on behalf of the Sussexes. Not only does it potentially hurt their relationships within the family, but it is also a huge letdown for fans who were hoping to catch a glimpse of Archie on Christmas Day.

Harry and Meghan have not confirmed the reports surrounding their Christmas plans.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry were originally supposed to visit Los Angeles for Thanksgiving before returning home in time for Christmas. During their stay in California, the couple is not expected to make any public appearances and will resume their royal duties after the holidays.