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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry remain on their break abroad—and they won’t be returning to London even for the Queen’s annual Christmas parties, The Daily Mail reports. Queen Elizabeth II is set to have her Buckingham Palace party tonight to thank her staff and will have the royal family’s pre-Christmas luncheon on Wednesday.
Multiple insiders told the outlet that there’s no snub “whatsoever” intended by Meghan ad Harry’s skipping the events, and they already told the Queen their decision. She was understanding of it, per Daily Mail’s sources. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s spokesperson already announced the Queen was fine with them skipping the royal family’s Christmas at Sandringham too. (“This decision…has the support of Her Majesty The Queen,” the spokesperson said.)
“As the couple made clear a few weeks ago, they are taking some time away together as a family,” a source told the Daily Mail. “This means that they will miss Christmas events.”
The two are reported to be in an “undisclosed location abroad” with Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland. Royal reporter Omid Scobie and ITV News royal producer Lizzie Robinson revealed on his podcast The HeirPod that Meghan and Harry were in the U.S….or at least were for Thanksgiving.
“The Sussexes are on official leave at the moment so there are no expectations for them to be there [for Christmas],” Scobie started. “I think it’s quite normal. We’ve seen members of the royal family on absence on their own personal leave in the past.”
“And we know they’re away so they’re not even in the country to attend,” Robinson added.
“It’s a long time trip that they’re on, I think,” Scobie said. “You’re really going to see them away until Christmas as far as I’m aware, which good for them.”
“[They need the break] and probably being away, back home for Meghan in the U.S.,” Robinson said.
Meghan and Harry’s spokesperson announced last month that the couple would be skipping Christmas with the royal family at Sandringham. “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are looking forward to extended family time towards the end of this month,” the spokesperson 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. 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.”