The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are expected to spend Christmas in California due to the latest U.K. lockdown and the postponement of Duchess Meghan’s privacy trial until fall 2021.
ELLE.com has learned from a source close to Prince Harry and Meghan that it is “anticipated they will be at their Montecito home in California and not be in the U.K. for Christmas.” The Duke and Duchess had initially planned to return to their Frogmore Cottage home in December on the Windsor Castle grounds for two weeks ahead of Meghan’s privacy trial against the Mail on Sunday and Associated Newspapers, which was due to start January 11 in London.
With the postponement of the trial until October or November of 2021, the couple will likely spend Christmas with Meghan’s mother Doria in California. A source shared the Sussexes are “following government guidance and medical advice about all travel and COVID restrictions are being taken into account.”
The couple left the U.K. with Archie last November for the Mille Fleurs estate in North Saanich on Vancouver Island, Canada. They left their son in Canada while Meghan and Harry attended their final engagements before stepping back as senior royals in March earlier this year. ELLE.com understands from sources close to the royals that the couple has stayed in touch with the family via video call since moving to their “forever home” in Montecito, California, but there was great excitement about spending time with the now-17-month-old toddler Archie, who is walking and talking.
Meghan and Harry had planned to return last spring for Trooping the Colour, the Queen’s official birthday, which also coincided with Prince Philip’s 99th birthday this year and Prince Harry’s Invictus Games, which had been scheduled at The Hague. But the Duke and Duchess had to cancel due to the pandemic. It has been over a year since the Queen, Prince Philip, Prince Charles, and the rest of the family have been able to see Archie so the family is understood to be “disappointed” that a reunion after Christmas will need to be postponed.
Plans for Queen Elizabeth’s traditional Christmas at Sandringham with members of the Royal Family have not yet been announced and are under review given the second lockdown due to COVID-19, which begins this Thursday in the U.K. A Buckingham Palace spokesman shared with ELLE.com that the Queen and Prince Philip have returned to Windsor Castle after a weekend at Wood Farm where they were isolating in a bubble with a small number of staff previously. “HRH The Duke of Edinburgh travelled back with Her Majesty to Windsor today. This has been the plan for awhile,” the spokesman said.
A few weeks ago, Buckingham Palace announced that “in line with current government guidelines, and as a sensible precaution in the current circumstances, there will be no large scale events at Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle for the rest of the year.”
The Royal Family traditionally spends Christmas as a family on Queen Elizabeth’s Sandringham estate and makes the walk to St. Mary Magdalene Church with members of the public invited to observe the family’s procession to church. Buckingham Palace, Kensington Place, and Clarence House have not allowed large-scale events with crowds in the past several months due to the risk from the pandemic. With a six-person rule in effect, members of the Royal Family have been isolating at their own individual households. The Cambridges have been splitting their time between their Norfolk home and Kensington Palace and the Queen has been isolating with Prince Philip at Windsor Castle with a small group of loyal staff.
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