UK Markets closed

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle skipping Christmas with royal family: Here's why

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry won't be spending Christmas with the rest of the royal family this year.

Buckingham Palace released a statement on Wednesday confirming speculation that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, along with son Archie Harrison, were planning on spending the holidays with Meghan's mother, Doria Ragland. In the statement the palace makes sure to say that their decision to do so "has the support" of Queen Elizabeth.

"The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are looking forward to extended family time towards the end of this month," the statement read. "Having spent the last two Christmases at Sandringham, Their Royal Highnesses will spend the holiday this year, as a new family, with the Duchess’ mother Doria Ragland. This decision is in line with precedent set previously by other members of the Royal Family, and has the support of Her Majesty The Queen."

While insiders have been saying for weeks that Harry and Meghan plan to go to Meghan's hometown of Los Angeles, where Ragland lives, for Thanksgiving, a source told People that they will celebrate Christmas elsewhere.

The announcement on Wednesday follows confirmation that the couple and their young son, who was born in May, would be taking about six weeks off from public engagements for "much-needed family time."

Meghan first spent Christmas with Harry's family in 2017, less than two months after announcing their engagement to the world. Her inclusion in the royal family's intimate holiday festivities at the queen's Sandringham estate made waves, as the invitation had typically been reserved only for those of whom had officially married into the royal family.

She also spent the holiday with the royal family last year, in 2018, when she was pregnant with her first child. 

Harry and Meghan's decision to skip the royal family Christmas traditions this year aren't out of the ordinary: Kate and William have spent numerous holidays with their children and Middleton's side of the family in years past.

Meghan, Harry and Archie won't be spending Christmas with the former "Suits" actress' father or half-siblings, from whom she has been estranged for years.