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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announce they are skipping Queen Elizabeth’s Christmas festivities

It’ll be a non-royal Christmas for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are skipping the annual holiday festivities at Sandringham — including their public walk to church on Christmas morning — with Queen Elizabeth and the rest of the royal family.

“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are looking forward to extended family time towards the end of this month,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement on Wednesday. “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. 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.”

In light of the interviews that Harry and Markle gave in the documentary Harry & Meghan: An African Journey, it seems logical that the couple could benefit from some time out of the spotlight. It was previously announced that the couple would take a six-week break from royal duties, with a royal source confirming with People: “The duke and duchess have a full schedule of engagements and commitments until mid-November, after which they will be taking some much-needed family time.”

It was expected that they would travel to the United States to spend Thanksgiving with Markle’s mother, Doria Ragland, and that the Sussexes would return to the UK to spend Christmas with the queen.

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