Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are currently on a break from royal duties.
In October, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced that they would be stepping back from public life from mid-November to spend time together with their son, baby Archie Harrison.
According to reports, they decided to spend Thanksgiving in the US with Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, and the Palace confirmed that they will also be missing the annual trip to Balmoral with the rest of the royals this year.
Royal correspondent Omid Scobie tweeted a Buckingham Palace statement reading: ‘The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are looking forward to extended family time towards the end of this month.
‘Having spent the last two Christmases at Sandringham, [the couple] will spend the holiday this year, as a new family, with the Duchess’ mother Doria.’
Their absence means that they will be breaking several royal traditions. Firstly, they will miss the walk to St. Mary Magdalene church on Christmas morning for the morning service, where royal fans usually wait for the family.
They’ll also be missing the royal tradition of exchanging gifts. The Queen usually arrives at Sandringham around December 20th (although this year it may be a little later), and the rest of the family reportedly arrive on Christmas Eve where they mingle and exchange presents as per German tradition.
Former butler to Prince Charles, Grant Harrold, told Insider: ‘The Queen arrives a few days before everyone else, like any good hostess, to ensure everything is ready.
‘Then most of the royals will arrive on Christmas Eve. They will have afternoon tea, which is traditionally held between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., where they will exchange gifts.’
Then there are the lesser known traditions that they’ll be missing, such as the Palace staff Christmas party, which members of the royal family usually attend according to Harrold.
He continued: ‘I was able to see Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall and exchange a few words. Princes Harry and William were there as well.
‘During the first [party] I got to sit down and have lunch with Prince William. Not many people can say they had a meal with the future king.’
However they decide to spend Christmas this year, we’re sure it’ll be extra special for the Sussexes.