It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Christmas is fast approaching and families all around the globe are trying to figure out what they’ll be doing for the day. And, just like any other family, the Royal Family is also trying to organise.
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The point that needs to be sorted is whether or not the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, as well as their two children, will be joining the rest of the royals for Christmas. Their possible presence at Sandringham is currently a point of gossip. Where did that rumour come from and could it really happen?
Prince Harry and Meghan, the Christmas rumours
On Sunday 19 November, The Telegraph reported that ‘sources close to’ the Sussexes believed that the couple would be ‘happy to accept’ a Christmas invitation from the King. However, the same unnamed sources have specified that no invitation has been issued.
It is the second time in less than a month that rumours surrounding an invitation circle the Royal Family. Indeed, whispers were flying about whether or not the Sussexes had been invited to King Charles’ birthday gathering.
The Telegraph’s article followed other articles published on Saturday 18 about the fact that the Sussexes would not be celebrating the holidays in the UK. Mirror wrote, quoting royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams speaking to GB News:
I suspect there is a mixture of emotions there. That will certainly not change now. They have no base in Britain, things have reached that stage, it is not good. The rift means there is no such possibility at the moment.
So between sources ‘close to’ the couple saying they’re open to it and royal experts saying there’s no way, the question remains.
Could Harry and Meghan go to Sandringham?
The idea of a royal Christmas reunion sounds magical. However, so far nothing indicates that it will happen.
If we solely look at logistics, spending the holidays in the UK would include security. But, when Prince Harry and Meghan had to give back Frogmore Cottage, they lost their only place of residence in the country. Moreover, it is believed that in order to ensure their security, they would need an invitation from King Charles himself. The King could also allow them to stay at a royal residence.
Now, what we learnt from the anonymous sources talking to The Telegraph is that, potentially, the Sussexes would be open to an invitation, not that the King has any intention of issuing one. However, still according to The Telegraph, a phone call for the King’s birthday could mark a shift in the relationship and therefore create that intention. The publication writes:
It would follow reports in The Telegraph that the Duke rang the King last week to offer him best wishes for his 75th birthday.
After a lengthy spell during which the two have barely spoken, the chat is understood to have marked a notable shift in tone.
During said phone conversation, it is reported that the King also spoke to his daughter-in-law. It is also believed that Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet recorded a video wishing their grandfather a happy birthday. According to Express, which was able to read The Times, those conversations and the video might be a ‘turning point’ for the royals.
So, if we believe those two publications, then a Sandringham Christmas could happen. But another problem remains: the relationship between Prince Harry and Prince William. According to a royal expert talking to The Sun, Prince William would be hard to convince. Jennie Bond said:
Christmas is all about family. (...) Sometimes it’s the only time in a year that whole families can get together for a proper catch up, so Harry’s absence from the celebrations at Sandringham will be painfully obvious. (...)
However, the royal expert doesn’t believe that this ‘pain’ will be enough to convince Prince William to bury the hatchet. Bond adds:
I don’t think William will be shedding a tear over this. Deep down, I’m sure he still loves Harry, but I don’t think he can see a way out of the rift that has opened between them. (...)
I think he is still deeply hurt by Harry and Meghan’s attacks, particularly on Catherine. That is a no go area as far as William is concerned
Of course, we would love to believe that a possible reconciliation is possible. But, we are also aware that there are always rumours about the Royal Family and that, unfortunately, they are rarely true.
Mirror: Meghan Markle 'relieved' as plans for Christmas with Royal Family fall through amid snub
The Telegraph: Prince Harry and Meghan ‘happy to accept’ a Christmas invite from King
Express: 'Breakthrough' in King Charles feud with Prince Harry thanks to Archie and Lilibet
The Sun: ‘Angry’ William ‘won’t shed a tear’ over Harry’s absence this Xmas after he crossed a ‘no go area’ with Kate Middleton