She might be a member of the royal family, but after two years of spending the holidays with them, Meghan Markle, as well as Prince Harry and baby Archie Harrison, are officially skipping out on Christmas with the Queen. The couple announced in November that they were not going to head to Sandringham with the rest of the royal family this year to celebrate Christmas, a move that was widely criticized and seen as a snub.
Though the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were defended by those who remembered that Kate Middleton and Prince William have also passed on holiday celebrations in the past to celebrate with her family, the couple may likely face new criticism over the fact that they also aren’t spending the holidays with Markle’s mother, Doria Ragland, in Los Angeles either.
In fact, despite a statement from the palace at the time that indicated they were spending time in L.A., the pair are actually in Canada instead and spending time there because of how much the country has meant to the couple over the years. “Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are spending private family time in Canada. The decision to base themselves in Canada reflects the importance of this Commonwealth country to them both,” a spokesperson told Us Weekly on Dec. 20. “...The Duke of Sussex has been a frequent visitor to Canada over many years, and it was also home to The Duchess for seven years before she became a member of the Royal Family.
They are enjoying sharing the warmth of the Canadian people and the beauty of the landscape with their young son.” In addition to the fact that the couple is likely facing criticism for not spending the holidays with either of their families, their reasons for ditching on royal traditions—which include a walk to church on Christmas morning and other celebrations with the royals—were also heavily criticized.
Not long after announcing they wouldn’t be there for Christmas this year, royal biographer Angela Levin floated the theory that the holidays were too “regimented” for Markle, who admitted she was struggling with royal life in the documentary “Harry & Meghan: An African Journey” in October.
It was also recently reported that the couple is simply looking for a more low-key holiday celebration after their tumultuous year. “Now on a sabbatical from royal duties until January, Meghan, Harry and Archie spent their first Thanksgiving as a family in the States with Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, and are now enjoying some downtime. Given their whirlwind year it’s no wonder they are trading a busy royal Christmas for a more low-key family affair,” royal author Katie Nicholl said.
Though the Sussex family won’t be present for Christmas in Sandringham, royal fans should still expect to see other members of the royal family present, including Prince Charles and Camilla, Prince William and Kate Middleton, and potentially, their children. It is unclear if Prince Andrew will make an appearance this year after he stepped down from royal duties following his scandalous interview about his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein.