Queen Elizabeth II heartbreak: Monarch’s ‘soft spot’ for Harry as Sussexes miss Christmas

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Her Majesty has a “soft spot” for the Duke of Sussex, who will not be able to celebrate with his grandmother this year, according to a royal biographer. Penny Junor, author of Charles and Diana: Portrait of a Marriage (1991), told Express.co.uk how the Sussexes’ absence at this year’s Christmas in the Queen’s household will be noticed.

She said: “I am sure the Queen will be very sad not to see Harry and Megan and her youngest great-grandchild.

“I think she has a very soft spot for Harry.”

Prince Harry will, in turn, miss the Queen “whom he adores” as well as other members of the Royal Family he enjoys spending time with.

Ms Junor said: “Harry gets on very well with his cousins and I guess he will miss seeing them and, of course, he will miss spending time with his grandparents whom he adores.”

But the Duke will also miss out on traditional activities he would typically do with his family during the Christmas period.

The royal expert added: “He will miss the charity football match that he and William instigated several years ago, between the home team – them and the estate workers – and the locals.”

However, there are certain traditions the Duke has chosen to no longer follow with Ms Junor explaining “the old Harry would miss the traditional Boxing Day shoot”.

The Duke has previously been spotted hunting but he has reportedly stopped doing it due to Meghan’s love of animals.

Earlier this year, Conservationist Dr Jane Goodall told the Radio Times of Harry and Prince William: “They hunt and shoot. But I think Harry will stop because Meghan doesn’t like hunting.”

Harry and Meghan will spend their first Christmas in their new California home this year, meaning that for the first time, the Duke may not be able to celebrate it exactly how he used to in the UK.

While festive activities differ from the UK to the US, the couple may still find time to hold a video call with the Royal Family on Christmas Day.

Ms Junor said: “I imagine that they will follow whatever traditions Megan grew up with, but I am sure they will make a Zoom call to the Royal Family at some point on Christmas Day.”

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This year, the Queen and Prince Philip will celebrate Christmas in an unusual way too.

Her Majesty has been forced to cancel her usual Christmas at Sandringham due to the coronavirus pandemic.

While the Monarch and the Duke of Edinburgh typically celebrate at their Norfolk estate with other family members, this year they will spend it “quietly” at Windsor Castle instead.

A spokesperson for Buckingham Palace said: “Having considered all the appropriate advice, the Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh have decided that this year they will spend Christmas quietly in Windsor.”

Daily Express royal correspondent Richard Palmer said the change of plans shows this year the Royal Family will not have a “normal Christmas” much like many others across the country.

It comes after reports emerged that the Queen “had a plan to get around that by simply moving the group with her at Windsor to Norfolk”, according to Mr Palmer.

He added: “But it was clear at that point that no final decision had been made about where the Queen and Philip would spend Christmas.

“Her decision emphasises that this is not going to be a normal Christmas in the UK, whatever the politicians would like.”

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