After days of speculation, on November 13, Buckingham Palace released a statement confirming that Prince Harry and wife Duchess Meghan (née Markle) will be no-shows at Queen Elizabeth II‘s annual holiday celebration at her country estate. Though the statement claimed that the whole family is on board with the plan, a source close to royals tells In Touch that isn’t strictly true. According to the insider, the queen is distraught over not having her family together for the holidays.
“Having spent the last two Christmases at Sandringham, Their Royal Highnesses will spend the holiday this year, as a new family, with the Duchess’ mother, Doria Ragland,” the palace said. “This decision … has the support of Her Majesty The Queen.” But does it? At 93, the queen knows she doesn’t have many Christmases left, and the insider revealed that may have officially given her support, but she’s personally upset by news. “She’s actually devastated that Harry’s snubbing Sandringham,” a royals source exclusively tells In Touch.
It doesn’t help that Sussexes have opted out of the royal celebration because of all of the drama they’ve been through recently with Prince William and Duchess Kate (née Middleton). According to the insider, the primary reason Harry, 35, and Meghan, 38, are bowing out “is his rift with his brother,” which has intensified over the past year. “And Kate, of course, will be there, and she and Meghan just don’t mix.”
This all makes for a very unhappy queen. “She’s even been in tears over it,” the source said. “She assumed everyone would be adult enough to put their differences aside and make an effort on her favorite day of the year, but now that it’s not going to happen, her Christmas is ruined.”
Though the two princes and their wives all reunited in early November for the annual Festival of Remembrance Sunday Service, things are still frosty between the foursome. Though a separate source told In Touch that the two duchesses planned to be “civil” to each other, they’re nowhere near becoming close. “Meghan and Kate certainly aren’t best friends, and I doubt they ever will be,” they said. “They’ll be civil to each other in public, but that’s about as far as their relationship goes.”
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