Christmas is approaching, and soon, it will be time to celebrate the joyful day with friends and family. The same goes for the royal family, who have many unique traditions when it comes to Christmas. However, things appear to be quite tumultuous this year as everyone wonders who will join the celebration and who will not.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s relationship with the royal family continues to be rocky, and reports suggest that they have both been invited to spend Christmas in the UK with the royals – and not. Harry reportedly is homesick, but even if they celebrate Christmas in the US, it will be with a British touch.
It’s well-known that the Sussexes don’t get along with Prince William or Princess Kate. And now, as there might be a possibility that Harry and Meghan will join them for Christmas, the Princess of Wales is said to be fearing the worst.
This year marks the fourth in a row that Harry and Meghan won’t be spending Christmas at Sandringham. Last year, the couple had just released their Netflix documentary series. And just weeks later, Harry’s upcoming tell-all book dropped. Not spending Christmas with the royals at the time might have been for the best.
Harry & Meghan – Christmas celebration with the royals?
Royal expert Angela Levin even went so far as to argue that Harry and Meghan were afraid of the Royal Family’s reaction, so they chose not to travel back to the UK for Christmas.
“It’s been said that they’re not coming but it [is] also I think on what the documentary is like whether or not they would be invited at all,” Levin told The Sun at the time
“It’s up [to] the Sussexes on whether they want their children to know what their father’s family is like – but also it could be a case where the royals don’t want them there after the documentary,” she added.
Archie and Lilibet have never spent much time with their British family. While William and Kate’s relationship with Harry and Meghan is pretty much nonexistent, King Charles at least wants to try to mend it, especially for his grandchildren’s sake.
This year, as previously, Harry and Meghan won’t be at Sandringham. According to The Times, an insider said that even though the Sussexes would accept an invitation to spend Christmas with the royals, it would require “heightened protection” to make it a reality.
However, the fact that Harry, Meghan, Archie, and Lilibet spoke to King Charles for his 75th birthday might be a “turning point.”
Meanwhile, another source told the Daily Mail that Harry and Meghan would accept an invitation to double down on their “reconciliation strategy.”
“It’s so bizarre to have behaved so badly, demanded an apology and an admission of ‘guilt’ — to no avail, I might add — from the family and now suggest they’ll just waltz back in and allow bygones to be bygones if only someone would be good enough invite them,” an insider told the Daily Mail.
“Anything can happen”
Moreover, the insider added that Harry and Meghan had invitations from both Queen Elizabeth and King Charles to join the family at Balmoral in the summer but decided not to accept. They haven’t been there since 2018.
“Which begs the question, why now? Is it something to do with the fact that some of their commercial deals, such as Spotify, have fallen around their ears and they have been subject to ridicule in the US in shows such as South Park and Family Guy?” the source said.
“Could it be that they have realised moaning about how awful being a member of the Royal Family is, isn’t such a great strategy after all?”
Another insider said, “Christmas plans are normally nailed down by now as Sandringham isn’t a particularly big place, and there’s not a lot of room for the entire extended family, It would be surprising for the Sussexes not to have received an invitation by now if there was going to be one. New Year in Scotland would be more likely.”
“But as with anything to do with Harry and Meghan, let’s face it, anything can happen,” the source concluded.
Harry is said to be homesick, and reports suggest that he wants to celebrate Christmas in the UK. Even though he has lashed out against his royal family in both interviews and, most notably, his book, Spare, Harry is keen on seeing his father, King Charles. Their relationship is s reportedly better as they have spoken on the phone. The last time they met was in May for Charles’ coronation. However, it’s unknown whether they had a proper sit-down.
Meanwhile, reports suggest everything is out there regarding Harry, Meghan, Archie, and Lilibet’s Christmas plans. But one who indeed seems to cheer for them not being there is Princess Kate.
Princess Kate “anxious” – fears Harry & Meghan will join for Christmas
Prince William and Princess Kate were treated harshly in Harry’s book. It’s well-known that Meghan and Kate didn’t get along while they were both a part of the royal family, even beginning before Meghan’s wedding, when she and Kate were unfriendly, which ended with the Duchess crying.
Speaking to Closer, an insider told the news outlet that Kate hopes to avoid any reunion with Harry and Meghan for Christmas. The fact that the Sussexes might be invited is reportedly making her “anxious,” and the Princess of Wales “wouldn’t put it past” Meghan and the rest of her family to arrive at Christmas for what is described as a royal “showdown.”
While Harry is said to be desperate to make amends with his father, Kate fears that the time for a possible truce might come over Christmas and spoil it.
“She’s made no secret of the fact that she’s also concerned they may effectively try to gate-crash the family festivities. If that happened, she’d be furious,” the insider told Closer as per Mirror.
“The plans are all so up in the air, and they’re not sure what’s happening, which is naturally creating a lot of unsettled feelings, and Kate is feeling stressed and on edge about it all,” the source added. “Kate just wants a peaceful family Christmas without drama, and she knows that if Harry and Meghan show up, it will ruin it, and they’ll be forced to endure yet more conflict and upset.”
Moreover, Closer reports that Prince William is “just as anxious” and has “no desire to see his brother.” However, just like the rest of the royal family, he would “love to see his niece and nephew” in Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet.
Harry & Meghan could celebrate Christmas in UK – but not with the royals
Prince Harry is said to try to “persuade” Meghan to “swallow her pride” and spend Christmas in the UK with the royals. Their relationship with Princess Beatrice and Eugenie is still great, which could explain why they might travel back “home” but not have to spend too much time with the senior royals.
“[They could] avoid less welcoming types like the Prince and Princess of Wales. Plus, it would be a coup from a PR standpoint because they’d maintain those visible links with the monarchy – and let’s face it, that’s what makes them marketable,” an insider told the Mirror. “But they just can’t agree, and the closer Christmas gets, the more rows they have over it.”
“Harry respects Meghan’s hard line about putting the royal family in the rear-view mirror,” the insider added. “He’s assured her that’s not caving in or backing down-“
To be or not to be, that is the question. Harry and Meghan’s relationship with the royal family has been shattered since their Oprah Winfrey interview, and only time will tell if it will ever return to normal.
But Christmas in the UK doesn’t have to result in seeing the royals. According to the Mirror, Harry, Meghan, Archie, and Lilibet have gotten another invite to spend the festive season in the UK with the Duke’s friend, Charlie van Straubenzee.
“They have home in London and Lincolnshire. Charlie is Harry’s best friend and also Archie’s godfather and the pair have recently grown closer again following a distant few years when Harry first moved over to America,” an insider revealed.
“The Sussexes have recieved a number of invites from their friends in the US for the holidays. It’s not like they don’t have anywhere to go.”
The source added, “David Foster has invited them for his extended Christmas weekend, and there are also other options on the table, but there seems to be a stalemate over where they should go.”
Princess Kate’s new Christmas tradition – positions her as a future queen
There are many traditions within the royal family, everything from what they eat to their special, goofy gifts to each other. King Charles will give his second King’s Speech on Christmas Day, and now, it appears that Princess Kate is also beginning to form her own Christmas tradition.
For the third year in a row, Princess Kate will host the exceptional Carol service at Westminster Abbey on December 8, which then will air on TV on Christmas Eve.
This year, “the service will be a moment to thank all those who work to support babies, young children, and families in our communities across the UK and a celebration of the golden opportunity that the birth of a new baby brings,” the Palace announced a month ago.
Princess Kate played the piano for the carol service two years ago. And according to PR expert Andrew Bloch, the fact that the Princess of Wales is hosting the festive Carol service makes her even more popular and positions her as a future queen.
“What Kate has done brilliantly is elevating her status and position within the broader royal family brand. Having a slot on Christmas Eve, it’s evidence of her appeal,” he told Mirror.
“If ITV didn’t think there would be any audience interest in that, they wouldn’t give her that slot, which is a prime time slot over the Christmas period. Not necessarily consciously a power move, but she is positioning herself as a key member of the royal family and developing a brand in her own right.”
“She’s genuinely empathic and authentic”
Andrew Bloch added, “Through her activities over the course of the last few years, she’s really started to win a place in the nation’s hearts. We’ve got to know her, not just as Prince William’s wife but as the Princess of Wales and as a personality in her own right.”
Moreover, Andrew claims that getting a slot on Christmas Eve is in Kate’s favor.
“No doubt having this audience is going to lead to an increase in popularity and everything she does elevates her brand, but it’s done in a very natural way, it isn’t forced. She’s genuinely empathic and authentic and I think people are getting to know her better and they like it.”
He concluded, “She’s shown great leadership, humanity, humility, humour, dignity, grace, all the characteristics that make for a great royal – she’s displaying them in bucket loads.”
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