Meghan Markle opened up about new Christmas traditions away from royal life

Sandringham is a distant memory

US actress and fiancee of Britain's Prince Harry Meghan Markle and Britain's Prince Harry arrive to attend the Royal Family's traditional Christmas Day
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Meghan Markle, Prince Harry and their children Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet will once again be spending the Christmas festivities away from the Royal Family.

Since the Sussexes left the UK back in 2020, tensions have been high between the two sets of royals on either side of the Atlantic, which has made it difficult for Harry and Meghan to take part in family celebrations.

But over in Montecito, Southern California, the Duke, the Duchess, the Prince and the Princess will be having a ball together, cementing their new holiday traditions as a family of four.

"We're creating new [traditions] now that our little ones are growing up. And we're enjoying every moment of it," Meghan said in an interview with E! News during Variety's Power of Women event in November.

She added: "I love trimming and decorating the tree with my children."

We don't know for sure whether the Sussexes were invited to the royals' traditional Christmas at Sandringham in Norfolk, but royal expert Jennie Bond has previously claimed that their being invited would create too much conflict.

"I can’t see how Charles could invite Harry and Meghan without causing major disruption and upsetting William and Kate, who would presumably refuse to attend," Jennie said in November. "So I don’t think they will be invited for Christmas."

Meghan has attended just two Sandringham Christmases in her time — the first in 2017, when she and Harry were engaged, and the second in 2018.

The Sussexes skipped the festivities in 2019, ahead of their official royal exit in the following weeks, preferring to spend the special day in Canada.

We now know from the couple's various TV interviews, as well as their Netflix docuseries and Harry's memoir, that in the intervening years they were already feeling quite unhappy within the royal fold in 2019.

Sadly, it doesn't look like the Sussexes will be spending a Christmas in Britain for a while yet.

Iris Goldsztajn
Iris Goldsztajn is a celebrity and royal news writer for Marie Claire. As a London-based freelance journalist, she writes about wellness, relationships, pop culture, beauty and more for the likes of InStyle, Women's Health, Bustle, Stylist and Red. Aside from her quasi-personal investment in celebs' comings and goings, Iris is especially interested in debunking diet culture and destigmatising mental health struggles. Previously, she was the associate editor for Her Campus, where she oversaw the style and beauty news sections, as well as producing gift guides, personal essays and celebrity interviews. There, she worked remotely from Los Angeles, after returning from a three-month stint as an editorial intern for in New York. As an undergraduate at the University of California, Los Angeles, she interned at goop and C California Style and served as Her Campus' national style and LGBTQ+ editor. Iris was born and raised in France by a French father and an English mother. Her Spotify Wrapped is riddled with country music and One Direction, and she can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.