Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are missing both of Queen Elizabeth’s Christmas parties as they flee the United Kingdom for the holidays to spend time with the Duchess of Sussex’s mother in the United States.
The couple — who share baby son Archie Harrison — will not be making an appearance at the annual Buckingham Palace party with the royal staff on Monday, December 16, sources told Daily Mail. As RadarOnline.com readers know, they will also be absent from the family’s pre-Christmas lunch at the palace on Wednesday, December 18.
Insiders said the Queen was previously informed about the situation, as the Sussexes made it clear they would not be taking part in royal events during their six-week break.
Amid growing tensions with the royals, Meghan, 38, and Harry, 35, have decided to spend the holidays with the former Suits actress’ mother, Doria Ragland. It’s unclear if they will be celebrating at her California home, or at another location abroad.
In November, a palace spokesperson confirmed Meghan and Harry would be skipping Christmas at Sandringham this year.
“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.”
The royal statement continued, “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.”
The announcement came after Harry and Meghan were slammed for their ITV documentary, Harry & Meghan: An African Journey, in which they both broke down speaking of the hardships of life in the royal spotlight.
“Any woman, especially when you’re pregnant, you’re really vulnerable, so that was made really challenging,” Meghan said at the time, addressing the alleged bullying she’s received from the U.K. media. “And then when you have a newborn, you know. And especially as a woman it’s a lot. So, you add this on top of just trying to be a new mom or trying to be a newlywed.”
Harry defended his wife, saying that his own mother, the late Princess Diana, was bullied until her death, and he would not let that happen to Meghan.
The couple decided to sue the Mail on Sunday over a claim that it unlawfully published one of Meghan’s private letters to her estranged father.
Meghan and Harry — who tied the knot on May 19, 2018 — have not been seen in public together since Remembrance Sunday, on November 8. They are expected to return to the U.K. in early January to launch their new charity after splitting court from Prince William and Kate Middleton.