Archie and Lilibet: Expert on spending Christmas at Sandringham
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On January 8, 2020, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced their decision to step back as senior royals and to divide their time between the UK and the US. But Covid seems to have thwarted the plan to split their time between the two countries. When will the couple return to introduce their new daughter, Lilibet, to the Queen and the rest of the royals?
Harry and Meghan conducted their last official engagement as senior royals on March 9, 2020.
They attended the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey with the Queen, Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Since then, Meghan hasn’t returned to the UK to the dismay of her British fans.
Prince Harry has made just two fleeting visits back to the UK since the couple’s relocation to the US.
His first visit since he stepped back as a senior royal was to attend the funeral of his grandfather, Prince Philip, in April.
He later came back for the unveiling of his mother’s statue on July 1, 2021.
On both occasions, Meghan couldn’t accompany her husband.
She was advised by her doctors not to fly back for the funeral, as she was heavily pregnant with her daughter at the time.
Instead, she stayed at the couple’s new Montecito home with their son Archie.
Again Meghan couldn’t join her husband for his second visit as she had recently given birth to their daughter Lilibet.
Despite their initial eagerness to divide their time between the UK and US, coronavirus restrictions have made travel difficult over the past 18 months.
But as travel restrictions between the two countries have eased, the Mirror reports the Queen is “likely” to meet her great-grandchild for the first time this Christmas.
Royal author Katie Nicholl told the Mirror: “When Harry and Meghan left, they made it clear they didn’t want to give up their home in Britain.”
She added: “Christmas is being looked at as an opportunity. There may be a softening, which could pave the way for a healing of the family rift.
“It’s certainly what the Queen wants. Prince Charles would like to see his grandchildren. A meet-up suggests they hope to move on and sort things out.”
The last time the couple spent Christmas in the UK was back in 2018, as the couple first fled to North America in 2019, spending their first Christmas away from the UK in Vancouver Island.
If the couple can’t make it back this Christmas, royal fans might have to wait until next year to see the Sussexes return.
Next year will be a landmark year for the royals, as 2022 is the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
Celebrations will be held throughout 2022 and although the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are no longer senior royals, their absence would be unusual.
Despite tensions between the Sussexes and other members of the royal family, Page Six reports that they will “absolutely” be invited to next year’s commemorations.
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