- Publish Date
- Monday, 20 November 2023, 10:13AM
Since leaving the royal family in 2020, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been absent from any royal celebrations at Sandringham over the Christmas period, however, sources claim this could be set to change.
Speaking to The Times, a source revealed Harry’s birthday call to King Charles last week was a “turning point” in their difficult relationship and has resulted in speculation the Californian-based royals would be willing to accept an invitation to spend the festive season in Britain.
This would mean accepting an offer to spend Christmas Day with the royal family - including the Prince and Princess of Wales, at Sandringham after they were left off the invite list last year.
While the source close to the couple told the news outlet, “there have not been any invitations for the holidays”, they remained positive that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex would be willing to change any current Christmas plans to instead spend time with the King.
“I can’t imagine the Sussexes would decline an invitation to spend time with His Majesty,” they said.
If the couple - who last celebrated the festive season at Sandringham in 2018, are invited and accept an invitation, Daily Mail reports they will require “heightened protection” after the Home Office fought - and succeeded, in withdrawing the estranged prince’s police protection while he is in the UK.
As for where the couple would stay after vacating Frogmore Cottage earlier this year at the request of the King, they would need a “formal invitation” from Charles or Buckingham Palace which would allow them somewhere to stay.
It’s in line with a comment from royal family aides who insisted that requests for accommodation for the prince and his family during short visits will likely be accepted.
Last year royal experts told The Sun that despite receiving an invitation to the family’s first Christmas without the late Queen Elizabeth, they declined and it was something that the expert claimed would have put the family at ease.
Speaking to the news outlet, royal biographer Angela Levin said the Queen’s death meant there was less pressure for the family to be together at Christmas, adding it is “good” because Harry and Meghan will not be attending.
“I’m sure Catherine and William will be there by the King and Queen’s side for part of the holiday,” she said at the time adding, “Harry and Meghan aren’t coming which I think will be a huge relief for the rest of the family.
“The family will want to make it a very positive day after the Queen’s death and I think the Sussexes’ presence would most certainly dampen that.”
Details on how the royal family will celebrate Christmas this year are yet to be revealed however, it is expected to see Charles spend quality time with the youngest in his family after a source told the Mail on Sunday that the 75-year-old monarch wants “to spend more time with his grandchildren”.
In recent months the King has been spending more time at his Windsor estate, visiting mostly at weekends. “Charles wants to spend more time with his grandchildren. There’s so much love there,” a source said adding, “Before, they were miles away from the Waleses but geographically they are now much closer so he can spend more time with them, and he’s very glad [of it].”
This article was first published by the NZ Herald and is republished here with permission.
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