Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Christmas card is set to break royal tradition all for a good reason. As royal watchers await the debut of the holiday greetings at some point this week, according to a source who spoke to E! News, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are putting the finishing touches on their card, which will pay tribute to non-royal members of their family.
According to a source, the couple, parents to son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, have had a "selection of family photographs" taken along with their son, with some of the photos including Markle's mother, Doria Ragland. The couple are expected to forgo the family gathering at Sandringham this year and instead spend the holidays with Ragland, and the couple wanted their Christmas card to reflect that and the pivotal role Ragland has played in Archie's upbringing.
"Harry and Meghan are said to want [to] ensure that some of their Christmas card images reflect that Doria is very much part of their family and of Archie's upbringing," the source said. "It is a break with protocol from traditional royal Christmas cards, which haven't historically included grandparents. For instance, Kate's parents – Carole Middleton and Michael Middleton – have never appeared on any of their Christmas card images."
While Prince William and Kate Middleton released their card, featuring a brand new photo of themselves and their three children – Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis, on Wednesday, Dec. 18, Harry and Markle's card is still under lock and key. It is expected that they will reveal the annual holiday greeting at some point this week, which is around the same time the British Royal Family began releasing their Christmas 2019 cards.
For that year, the duke and duchess' card featured a never-before-seen photo of the couple on their wedding night, the newlyweds photographed with their backs to the camera as they watched fireworks in the distance over their evening reception at Frogmore House.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are delighted to share a new photograph from their Wedding Reception at Frogmore House on 19th May.
The photograph, which features on Their Royal Highnesses’ Christmas card, was taken by photographer Chris Allerton. pic.twitter.com/PQPUuRwnIj— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) December 14, 2018
The candid shot stood in stark contrast to the images featured on the Christmas cards of other members of the Royal Family. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's card featured Prince William and Kate Middleton and their children dressed in casual clothing as they posed next to a tree. The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall's card featured a photograph taken of the two by Hugo Burnand in the garden of Clarence House, the couple facing towards the camera.
Family is certainly a focus for the couple this holiday season, as they will ring in the holidays and the new year with Ragland. The couple missed Queen Elizabeth's annual Christmas party at Buckingham Palace Monday night as well as the traditional pre-Christmas lunch at the palace on Wednesday, and they reportedly have "no plans" to return to the United Kingdom ahead of the new year.