Prince Harry and Meghan Markle seem to have a complicated relationship with the rest of the royal family these days. Last month, Prince Harry revealed that he and his brother, Prince William, have been drifting apart. Now it looks like the couple could be making things worse with Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth. They recently made a decision that could be interpreted as a boycott against the queen herself.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are skipping Christmas with the queen
Every winter, many members of the royal family gather at Queen Elizabeth’s Sandringham House to celebrate Christmas. Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan did join Her Majesty at Sandringham in both 2018 and 2017. However, this year, they are declining the invitation.
In a statement released by Buckingham Palace, representatives for the royal family revealed that they are looking to spend Christmas with Markle’s family: “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.”
A source also told The Sun that the Sussexes “need some time away to recharge and decide their plans for next year.”
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle ‘snubbed’ the queen a few months ago
This actually is not the first time that Prince Harry and Markle decided to skip out on royal traditions. A few months ago, they did not visit Balmoral Castle with the rest of the family to visit Queen Elizabeth — something royals do every summer.
According to sources, the couple felt that their son Archie was too young for the trip to Scotland, so they felt it was better to not go. However, critical onlookers pointed out that Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan didn’t seem to have a problem taking their boy to Spain and France a few weeks earlier.
Are Prince Harry and Meghan Markle trying to boycott the Queen?
It’s not clear whether the Duke and Duchess of Sussex mean any harm when they decide to ignore these traditions. However, it could be yet another sign that there is some tension within the royal family, and Prince Harry and Markle are uncomfortable interacting with fellow royals.
Royal biographer Angela Levin said: “If your wife feels that she’s existing and not living and she’s unhappy, and if you are going through a difficult patch as well, I think, perhaps, the last thing you want to do is to go somewhere in the UK which is bleak and cold and will get dark very early with a whole load of family.”
She also added that Christmas at Sandringham comes with a lot of rules surrounding what one can and can’t do.
“You can’t eat after the Queen stops eating, you can’t go to bed unless the Queen’s gone to bed,” Levin said. “Everything is absolutely on time. I think if you are tense anyway, it’s quite difficult. I think that Meghan feels very uncomfortable at the moment with the Royal Family.”
How does the queen feel about this situation?
The palace has released a statement assuring fans that the Sussex’s decision “is in line with precedent set previously by other members of the Royal Family, and has the support of Her Majesty The Queen.”
Nevertheless, many people still believe that Queen Elizabeth might be at least a little stung by Prince Harry and Markle’s behavior.
Royal expert Ingrid Seward shared that, while it is understandable if they do not want to have Archie to be at a stress-filled Christmas in Sandringham, it does not make sense to skip out on it entirely.
“Sandringham has played host to many many children through the ages and is well set up for them,” Seward shared. “I think it’s sad they don’t want to be part of the family gathering, particularly now the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are in their dotage.”
However, Seward believes that “the Queen might be a little hurt but she’s far too gracious to ever let it show or be known.”