The surprisingly sweet reason King Charles was glad NOT to see his grandchildren Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet this Christmas

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle did not join the Royal Family at Sandringham over the holidays

King Charles
(Image credit: Getty)

King Charles III did not get to see his grandchildren, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's two kids, Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet over the Christmas holiday, but a royal expert has shared that the monarch was likely 'relieved' they didn't come over for a surprisingly sweet reason. 

It was disappointing but not shocking that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle didn't visit the rest of the Royal Family over the Christmas holidays. The couple haven't attended a family Christmas at Sandringham since 2018 and their kids, Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet, who sit sixth and seventh in the royal line of succession, have never spent a festive season there in their lives. 

But as well as missing out on The Firm's royal traditions, the estranged Sussexes more importantly miss out on family time in which to bond. But surprisingly, one royal expert believes that King Charles III is 'relieved' the kids didn't come to visit this year and the reason is actually very sweet when you get down to it. 

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, Lilibet and Archie

(Image credit: NETFLIX)

"I think he's been so busy [this year], exhausted actually that when you're busy and exhausted he's probably a bit relieved," royal author Ingrid Seward told HELLO! Magazine. "There's going to be no family aggravation to cope with. You know what it's like at Christmas when you have a sort of 'prickly relation,' you walk on eggshells. At least, he's spared the potential of an unpleasant atmosphere.

"If he wanted to see his grandchildren, probably Christmas isn't the best time. There's too much going on and he won't be able to concentrate on them. It would be far better when he sees them in a quiet moment some other time during the year. They will want to come and see him because they've got to keep a relationship going."

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle holding Prince Archie

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Christmas holidays may be devoted to family, making it strange that Charles would rather not see his grandchildren, but Ingrid Seward reminds us that King Charles doesn't really get to take time off as King and so planning proper meet ups with smaller family groups is much easier to fit into his schedule when compared to throwing everyone together at Christmas.

"The only day he doesn't look at the red box is Christmas Day and Easter Sunday, I think," she shared. "He'll have Christmas Day off from doing the governmental boxes and the telephone – just one day. I think when you're on a sort of treadmill of work, it's probably easier just to keep going."

There's been a lot of forward movement in the healing of Prince Harry's relationship with the rest of the Royal Family, though Omid Scobie's recent scathing royal book Endgame may have undone a lot of that. However, there have been reports that Prince Harry, Archie and Lilibet all spoke to King Charles on his birthday and the grandfather even has developed a low-key way of keeping tabs his two estranged grandchildren - so things aren't looking all to bad!

News writer

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse is a news writer for Goodtoknow, specialising in family content. She began her freelance journalism career after graduating from Nottingham Trent University with an MA in Magazine Journalism, receiving an NCTJ diploma, and earning a First Class BA (Hons) in Journalism at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute. She has also worked with BBC Good Food and The Independent.