“The plans have not been finalized,” a source told Vanity Fair. “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.”
Every year the Queen hosts her entire family for Christmas at her Sandringham Estate in Norfolk. However, according to Sally Bedell Smith, the Queen’s biographer, the Queen will probably be understanding if Meghan and Harry decide not to come. “The Queen is pretty tolerant and she may not begrudge them missing Christmas given Meghan’s mother is in the States,” Bedell Smith told Vanity Fair. “It will be a useful time for the couple to re stock re assess and decide how they want to move forwards,” she added.
“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.”
Kate Middleton and Prince William have been given the Queen’s blessing in the past to forgo the family affair so Kate can spend the holidays with her family, the Middletons, who live in Berkshire.
Meghan and Harry have spent the last two Christmases at Sandringham.
As understanding as the Queen is, there are concerns that Meghan and Harry’s absence may fuel more rumours of a rift between the royal family. “Given that Harry and Meghan didn’t go to Balmoral over the summer, it could be seen as another piece of evidence that they are going their own way if they don’t show up for Christmas,” noted Bedell Smith.
Then again, it may be a relief to not have the Sussexes attend Christmas, as the current family tensions may put a damper on the festivities. “Things between them are still not great,” said a source. “The feeling is that Harry and Meghan have rather alienated themselves from the rest of the family. If they do come for Christmas it might be a particularly frosty one.”