Ah, the holidays—the time of year when couples have to pick which family to spend time with and somebody inevitably ends up feeling left out. Even royals! Meghan Markle and Prince Harry skipped Christmas lunch at Queen Elizabeth’s, and some family members are reportedly disappointed.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry just welcomed their first child in May, which means this holiday season is extra special—it’s their first as a family. The couple announced earlier this year that they planned to spend Christmas with Meghan’s mom, Doria Ragland, rather than with the Queen. “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are looking forward to extended family time towards the end of this month,” a spokesperson for the couple said. “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.” They also spent Thanksgiving with Doria.
There was no competition over Thanksgiving, obvi, since Thanksgiving is an American holiday. Christmas, on the other hand? There are some members of the royal family who think Meghan and Harry made the wrong call by not spending the holiday with the royal family. It’s Christmas tradition for the royal family to eat lunch with the Queen at Buckingham Palace and then attend church at Sandringham Estate.
This year, most of the royal family is expected to be in attendance at Christmas including Prince Philip, Prince William, and Kate Middleton.
“Some members of the family think the couple should have considered queen and Prince Philip’s advancing age,” a source told Entertainment Tonight. While everyone understands that the Sussexes are “entitled to a break,” some think they could have taken time off and still returned for Christmas. “After all, at 93 and it being Archie’s first Christmas, neither Her Majesty the Queen nor Prince Philip will be around forever,” the source said.
However, other members of the family are supportive—and the Sussexes’ decision actually IS in line with tradition for new royal parents. As their statement read: “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.”