There was a story about a month ago in the Mail, about how the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had possibly been invited to the royal Christmas festivities at Sandringham this year, but they possibly already told King Charles that they’re not coming. I took the story to mean that someone in KC3’s office had put out feelers to Camp Sussex to see what their Christmas plans were, and the Sussexes made it clear that they’ve already got plans which don’t involve Sandringham. All of this so Charles doesn’t have to formally extend an invitation or actually go out of his way to be nice to his younger son. Well, there’s a follow-up story in the Daily Mail – their sources say that Charles DID invite the Sussexes but they are “unlikely to attend.” The Royalist had even more about the Royal Christmas plans:
King Charles and Queen Camilla will host the royal Christmas at Sandringham this year, continuing the long tradition established by Queen Elizabeth II as part of a determined effort to emphasize continuity, despite the change of reign. However, Prince Harry and his family are unlikely to attend.
A friend of the new king and queen exclusively told The Royalist: “It will be very strange for the family to be at Sandringham without the queen at Christmas. However the past two years have been fairly strange because of COVID, so at this stage they are just hoping, like everyone else, that a big gathering can go ahead.”
Asked if Harry would attend, the friend, who has visited Sandringham over the festive period to participate in the estate’s famous pheasant and partridge shoots in previous years, said, “Obviously his sons have a standing invitation, but the reality is that no-one is expecting Harry and Meghan to fly over, given that his book is hanging over everything.” A source told the Mail on Sunday echoed that Harry and Meghan were “unlikely to attend.”
The friend told The Daily Beast they suspected that Prince Andrew would be encouraged to keep a “low profile” if he was invited, but that this was far from certain give his elder brother’s long-standing animosity towards Andrew, who he believes has inflicted serious harm on the monarchy by his involvement with Jeffrey Epstein.
Prince William and Kate are expected to be at Sandringham, the friend said. With William now heir to the throne, the days of being able to duck out of the duties of the official royal Christmas and slip off to Kate’s house are likely over for good.
A question mark hangs over the attendance of Camilla’s children, Tom and Laura. They are not believed to be close to William and, although they were invited to attend the queen’s funeral, did not have prominent roles. Tom has two children by his former wife Sara Buys, a fashion editor, and art dealer Laura and her husband Harry Lopes have three teenagers.
A spokesperson for King Charles declined to comment on the guest list for Christmas, although a palace source did confirm to The Daily Beast that the traditions and customs established by Elizabeth and her predecessors would be continued by Charles.
Yes, I’m curious about Camilla and what she’ll do about having her “separate Christmas,” which is what she used to do before she was queen consort. She would be in Sandringham for Christmas Eve and Christmas morning (to go to church), and then she would leave Sandringham alone and go back to Ray Mill to have the rest of the holiday with her kids and grandkids. Apparently, Charles is going to continue the German tradition of opening Christmas gifts on Christmas Eve and (one would assume) the walk to church on Christmas morning. Queen Elizabeth II kept up with ALL of Queen Victoria’s holiday traditions, often at the expense of joy and togetherness. I do think that Charles will probably shake up some things, especially by allowing Camilla’s kids and grandkids to come for some or all of the festivities? Charles probably won’t go to church twice on Christmas day either.
As for Harry & Meghan… I bet Meghan and Doria will cook! Harry and Meghan will spend Christmas morning in their pajamas, listening to Christmas music and playing with their kids. That’s the American tradition! I wonder if Harry has some culture shock about how un-German Christmas is in America. As for William and Kate… well, I would imagine that Kate will just invite her family to stay at Anmer Hall for the holidays, which is what she usually does. I think it’s funny that William is TRAPPED now, no more Bucklebury Royal Court church walks, you know?
Photos courtesy of Cover Images, CHRIS RADBURN/Avalon.