Thank you for signing up to . You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will celebrate a very different kind of Christmas this year after stepping down as senior members of the Royal Family.
- Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will spend Christmas at their home in America.
- While they can't fly to the UK right now because of the pandemic restrictions, royal expert Duncan Larcombe believes they are relieved to be away from 'stuffy traditions'.
- This royal news (opens in new tab) comes after it was revealed that Brits are getting an extra bank holiday thanks to the Queen (opens in new tab).
An insider reveals what the Sussexes have planned for the holidays in America, from charity work to eco-friendly decorations.
And, with the pandemic threatening the Queen’s own plans to host the family at Sandringham, the Sussexes may not be alone in breaking with tradition this year.
Making new traditions
While some customs will remain the same – including making time to watch the Queen’s speech – in other ways, Christmas Day will be a far cry from what Harry is used to.
Our insider reveals, ‘The Christmas tree will be as eco-friendly as possible, and Meghan is even learning some of Diana’s favourite recipes from Harry’s childhood as a nice surprise.’
If Harry makes a public appearance on Christmas Day, it will be very different from the usual walk to the church service at Sandringham, as the couple hope to be involved in charity work. Adds our insider, ‘They’re planning to do their bit for charity, of course, which will involve feeding the homeless and other forms of volunteering in the local community.’
Curse of covid
Although Duncan suggests the family-of-three wouldn’t have spent Christmas in the UK, regardless of the pandemic, it’s certainly given Harry the opportunity to shy away from any potential awkwardness with his brother William amid rumours they’re still feuding.
Duncan explains, ‘Things are still very bad with William, so COVID has probably done them a favour. It has provided Harry with a ready-made excuse.’
That said, the ongoing pandemic and the fact that the Queen, at 94, is extremely vulnerable means the Sandringham Christmas is under threat. He adds, ‘From what I understand, there’s a very strong possibility that there won’t be any official Christmas gatherings of the royals.’
Despite rumours of a rift, Duncan predicts the brothers will put on a united front for the sake of the kids. ‘I think they’ll Facetime or Zoom, and the cousins will be opening presents together in that way. No matter how bad the fall-out over the business end of things between William and Harry, there’s no indication that they’re not on speaking terms.’
As 2020 ends, the Sussexes will no doubt look back over the turbulent year that saw them cut ties with the Royal Family.
Duncan muses, ‘With Harry being miles from his family and the traditions that he’s grown up with, it will give him and Meghan a chance to reflect on their year. And, while it’s a year where they’ve followed their dreams, it’s come with an incredible amount of criticism. They’ve certainly burned their bridges.’