Every year for Christmas, Queen Elizabeth II hosts her family at her estate at Sandringham, but Prince Harry and Meghan Markle reportedly might be skipping the festivities this holiday season. A source told Vanity Fair that "there is a possibility" that Harry, Markle and their son, Archie, may stay in America for the full holiday season and opt out of the celebration at Sandringham.
"The plans have not been finalized," the source said. "They will be in America for Thanksgiving later this month and there’s a chance they might choose to stay out there a while longer which might mean missing Christmas."
The Sussexes are planning to spend Thanksgiving in the United States, and some sources said the royal couple may want to stay longer in order to search for a potential second home in Los Angeles.
"It has always been important to Meghan that Archie grows up aware of his American heritage and they plan to spend more time in the States as he grows up," a friend of Markle's shared. "They’ve not had much time off and this feels like the right moment to take a proper break."
Markle and Harry are taking a six-week break from royal duties at the end of the year and will begin their holiday by spending Thanksgiving with Markle's mother, Doria Ragland, in Los Angeles.
Sally Bedell Smith, the Queen’s biographer, said that Markle and Harry potentially missing Christmas "could be seen as another piece of evidence that they are going their own way."
"The Queen is pretty tolerant and she may not begrudge them missing Christmas given Meghan’s mother is in the States," Bedell Smith added. "It will be a useful time for the couple to re stock re assess and decide how they want to move forwards. Christmas at Sandringham is a deeply embedded tradition in the royal family however and it’s expected that everyone will be there, but the Queen does sometimes make allowances."
Markle and Harry wouldn't be the first royals to skip the annual get-together, as Prince William and Kate Middleton have alternated holidays between the royals and Middleton's family.
An aide told Vanity Fair that while Markle and Harry want to spend more time in America, they have no plans to leave Frogmore Cottage in the U.K. and see it as their "lifelong home." In addition. the couple are reportedly considering purchasing a second property in the United States and looked at a home in Calabasas in Los Angeles earlier this year.
"They were looking at a place 6-9 months ago that they really liked," a Los Angeles source said. Another added, "I think the idea is that they will have a property in the States so that they can have a second home to holiday and get away to."
Photo Credit: Getty / Mark Cuthbert