They have been dealing with a year that they deemed tough and have opted not to spend the holidays with the rest of the royal family, which is causing some more controversy for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. However, if past experience played a role in the decision, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex would likely be celebrating Christmas with the Queen after all.
A resurfaced interview with BBC 4 Radio from 2017 saw Prince Harry reveal how his wife’s first Christmas with the royals—one that was considered landmark since she was not yet married to him—went, and it appears things went well for the former American actress and her seemingly more traditional in-laws. During his sit-down at the time, which was resurfaced by Express UK, the Duke of Sussex revealed that his then-future wife had a wonderful time spending the holidays with his family.
“She really enjoyed it. The family loved having her there. There’s always that family part of Christmas, there’s always that work element as well,” he revealed at the time. “Am I think together we had an amazing time.”
During that holiday, the couple reportedly stayed with Prince William, a then-pregnant Kate Middleton, Prince George and Princess Charlotte at the Cambridges’ country home, Amner Hall, which he also revealed had gone well.
“We had great fun staying with my brother and sister-in-law and running around with the kids,” he said. “Christmas was fantastic.”
However, despite what appeared to be a great first holiday, the couple’s second celebration with the family was reportedly less successful, mainly because of the rumors plaguing the couples at the time that suggested they were locked in a bitter feud. Walking to church together for Christmas Day service also did nothing to squash the rumors.
Now, following that and a year filled with several other accounts of alleged strife and problems, Prince Harry and Markle are skipping out on Christmas with the royals this year, opting to spend the time with her mother instead. While the Queen is reportedly okay with the couple missing out (it will be Harry’s first missed Christmas outside of when he was abroad), it was also reported that his wife isn’t overly comfortable around the family and might have issue with how regimented things are, especially considering how the last year has been.
“If your wife feels that she’s existing and not living and she’s unhappy, and if you are going through a difficult patch as well, I think, perhaps, the last thing you want to do is to go somewhere in the UK which is bleak and cold and will get dark very early with a whole load of family,” royal biographer Angela Levin revealed. “It’s very demanding, it’s very regimented over Christmas…I think if you are tense anyway, it’s quite difficult. I think that Meghan feels very uncomfortable at the moment with the Royal Family.”