“Harry and Meghan are having a small Christmas with just immediate family instead of spending it at Sandringham,” a source tells Us Weekly exclusively. “The rift between William and Harry is one of the main reasons behind their decision.”
Another member of the brood made the shift in holiday plans all the more enticing. “As it’s Archie’s first Christmas, they want it to be super special,” the insider reveals. “It’ll be just [Meghan’s mom] Doria [Ragland] and the three of them.”
Harry, 35, and Meghan, 38, have vocalized in recent weeks the immense pressure that public scrutiny has put on their lives, which forced them to switch things up as the year comes to a close. “The drama surrounding the couple has caused a huge amount of stress,” the source adds. “They’re making their family their No. 1 priority right now.”
Buckingham Palace confirmed on Wednesday, November 13, that the pair would deviate from the royal family’s itinerary for the season. “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,” a statement read. “This decision is in line with precedent set previously by other members of the royal family, and has the support of Her Majesty The Queen.”
Harry, for his part, admitted in October that he had a rift with William, 37. “Part of this role and part of this job, this family, being under the pressure that it’s under, inevitably stuff happens,” he explained during Harry & Meghan: An African Journey. “But look, we’re brothers, we’ll always be brothers. We’re certainly on different paths at the moment but I’ll always be there for him and as I know he’ll always be there for me.”
Earlier this month, the siblings, Meghan and Duchess Kate — alongside other members of the royal family — made their first public appearance together since July. The group attended Festival of Remembrance events in honor of fallen soldiers on Saturday, November 9, and Sunday, November 10.
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