Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will not join the Queen for her first Christmas without Prince Philip

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will not return to the UK for Christmas, despite it being the Queen's first without husband Prince Philip.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will not spend Christmas with the Queen and the rest of the royal family, despite hopes they would join Her Majesty for her first Christmas without Prince Philip.

Although it was anticipated that the couple would bring Lilibet to the UK for a royal Christmas, according to Page Six, royal insiders have suggested that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex would have communicated plans to return to the UK by now if that was their intention.

Despite the Queen extending an olive branch to the couple with an invitation for Christmas, it is thought Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will remain in the US for the holidays.

Prince Philip and the Queen

Credit: Getty

A source told Page Six, “There’s a lot that goes into the logistics and the planning of the family Christmas, so of course, staff know that Harry and Meghan are not coming.

“If they were, they would have communicated it to their family by now.

“But this is Her Majesty’s first Christmas without her husband, so one would have hoped they would want to be with her.”

The festive season will no doubt be difficult for the 95-year-old Monarch as it's the first without her late husband, whom she described as her "strength and stay" all these years.

The Queen Christmas

Credit: Getty

When he passed away in April the royal family were determined to rally around Her Majesty in order to support her in the wake of his death, with Prince William and Kate Middleton considering a move to be closer to her. So it's no surprise the family are planning on spending Christmas with the Monarch.

It's not been an easy couple of weeks for the Queen after a bout of ill-health saw her spend the night in hospital.

Her Majesty continued to spark concern after she was forced to pull out of a number of high-profile events including an appearance at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow and the annual Remembrance Sunday ceremony following a back sprain. She has since been ordered by doctors to take things easy.

Christmas has always been an extra special time for the Queen as she loves nothing more than being surrounded by her family to celebrate Christmas at Sandringham.

Although Prince Harry and Meghan are unlikely to make it, we hope the Queen will find some joy in spending time with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Celebrity writer

Georgia is a Celebrity and Royal Writer working across GoodTo and Woman & Home, and the Director and Founder of communications company Farq Media. Prior to this she was Online Editor at New! Magazine – managing all of their digital content and social media accounts. Where she interviewed all of the hottest reality TV stars and spent far too much time commuting to London. She trained at Nottingham Trent University – where she achieved First Class Honours in Print Journalism whilst juggling copious amounts of work experience, freelance writing, blogging and having far too much fun with the dance society.