Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Will Not Be Spending Christmas with the Royal Family

Meaning they'll miss out on the annual Sandringham tradition.

UPDATE, Nov. 13 at 1:40 p.m.: Buckingham Palace confirmed in a statement to Harper's Bazaar royal reporter Omie Scobie that "The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are looking forward to extended family time towards the end of this month. Having spent the last two Christmases at Sandringham, [the couple] will spend the holiday this year, as a new family, with the Duchess’ mother Doria."

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's alleged break from royal duties might be lasting longer than originally reported.

While it has been reported that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex would be taking a six-week break from royal duties and visiting Meghan's mother, Doria Ragland, for Thanksgiving, Vanity Fair's royal reporter Katie Nicholl has sources "close to Harry and Meghan" claiming the Sussexes might be spending Christmas in the U.S., as well.

The sources told Vanity Fair "there is a possibility" they'll stay in the U.S. for the entire holiday season, though even then, things sound pretty up in the air.

"The plans have not been finalized," a source told Vanity Fair. "They will be in America for Thanksgiving later this month and there’s a chance they might choose to stay out there a while longer which might mean missing Christmas."

The sources also said the extended break is because they're still scouting for a second home in L.A., though those rumors have yet to be confirmed.

Meghan Markle & Prince Harry 
Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Of course, if the Sussexes do opt to spend Christmas with Meghan's family, they'll miss the annual Sandringham Christmas walk. Though it's a big tradition for the royals, Sally Bedell Smith, Queen Elizabeth's biographer, told Vanity Fair it's fairly understanding, especially since Meghan's mother is so far away.

"The Queen is pretty tolerant and she may not begrudge them missing Christmas given Meghan’s mother is in the States," she said. "It will be a useful time for the couple to re-stock, re-assess and decide how they want to move forwards. Christmas at Sandringham is a deeply embedded tradition in the royal family however and it’s expected that everyone will be there, but the Queen does sometimes make allowances."

Still, these are all rumors at this point — Buckingham Palace hasn't confirmed that the Sussexes will take a break or that they'll be visiting the U.S. for Thanksgiving, and Harper's Bazaar royal reporter Omid Scobie reported that Prince Harry will be attending an engagement on Nov. 17.

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