Inside Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s Christmas Plans Away From the Royals

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There was no royal Christmas reunion or reconciliation between Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, and the British royal family. The royal family appeared this morning at Sandringham, with the Sussexes missing, as expected.

the british royal family attend the christmas morning service

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Multiple sources told Us Weekly in the days leading up to Christmas that Meghan and Harry will be spending their Christmas in Montecito, California, with their kids Archie and Lilibet, Meghan’s mother Daria Ragland, and their friends, rather than flying over to the U.K. to be part of the royals’ festivities.

“They’ll be cooking, playing games and swapping gifts,” one source said. “They have a tough time trying not to spoil the kids too much!” They do have limits though: Meghan commented earlier this week that the one Christmas gift 4-and-a-half-year-old Archie asked for but won’t be getting is a multi-thousand dollar Leica camera.

Their time off-hours in California is spent primarily parenting and with friends, with date nights at home thrown in. “They try not to rely too heavily on nannies,” Us’ first source said. “Harry and Meghan spend plenty of time outdoors, hiking with the dogs or kicking a soccer ball around with the kids. They also like to host dinner parties at the house and just kick back and binge-watch shows.”

Regarding the royals, the outlet reported that Meghan and Harry are still in contact with King Charles, but with the rest of the family, including Prince William and Kate Middleton, “there’s no communication,” a second source said.

This could change next year. The first source said that Harry “was pleased he connected with his father [in November], and he and Meghan want to have more contact with the royal family as 2024 unfolds. They’re hoping things heal with time.”

Royal observers should not expect any more tell-all projects from the Sussexes, which may help with their hope of improved family relations. “Harry and Meghan want to go in a different direction. They’ve said what they needed to say with regard to the royals,” the second source said. “They’re moving on.”

Regarding the commentary about them, “Harry and Meghan feel like everything with them is always blown out of proportion,” that source continued. “They try not to let the noise affect their lives.” It has only strengthened their own relationship too: “They are stronger than ever.”

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Alyssa Bailey is the senior news and strategy editor at ELLE.com, where she oversees coverage of celebrities and royals (particularly Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton). She previously held positions at InStyle and Cosmopolitan. When she’s not working, she loves running around Central Park, making people take #ootd pics of her, and exploring New York City.

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