The rift between Prince William and Prince Harry isn’t showing any signs of repair, but according to royal experts, William and Kate Middleton will follow their tradition of sending Christmas gifts to the entire family, including Harry and Meghan Markle’s kids Archie and Lilibet.
"Yes, of course,” royal expert Katie Nicholl told OK! Magazine when asked if the Cambridges would be sending gifts to their family across the pond. "They give gifts to the whole family and that includes all of their nieces and nephews."
Though Harry and Meghan were invited to spend the holidays with the royal family at the Queen’s estate in Sandringham, as is the royal tradition, they reportedly won’t be traveling abroad, per Page Six.
“There’s a lot that goes into the logistics and the planning of the family Christmas, so of course, staff know that Harry and Meghan are not coming,” a source said. “If they were, they would have communicated it to their family by now.”
“But this is Her Majesty’s first Christmas without her husband, so one would have hoped they would want to be with her.”
The Queen has been in ill health as of late, and has missed public engagements for most of November as she recovered from a back injury. She’s expected to travel to Sandringham around December 17 to prepare for the Christmas festivities.
Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles are expected to attend, as well as William and Kate and their children. The last time Harry and Meghan attended Christmas at Sandringham was in 2018. They spent Christmas 2019 in Canada as part of what they described as “extended family time” with Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, and spent Christmas 2020 socially distanced at their new home in Santa Barbara, California.
William and Kate also spent Christmas with just their children last year, due to the pandemic. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, who passed away in April, spent his last Christmas quietly at Windsor Castle.
William and Kate haven’t met Lilibet yet, who was born in June 2021, and haven’t seen Archie in person since the family recused themselves as senior royals and moved to America. According to Page Six, the Sussexes are planning to attend the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2022.
The brothers and their families exchanged Christmas gifts last year, per the Daily Mail, but that was before the bombshell Oprah interview in March 2021 that widened the family rift. What the gifts were isn’t known. With the gifts to the Cambridges, the Sussexes included notes to Princes George and Louis and Princess Charlotte that Meghan hand-calligraphed herself.
For Christmas last year, Queen Elizabeth sent Archie a waffle maker, as Harry explained on “The Late Show with James Corden.”
"He loves it," Harry said. "Archie wakes up in the morning and literally just goes, 'Waffle?'"
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Julie Tremaine is an award-winning food and travel writer who’s road tripping — and tasting — her way across the country. Her work appears in outlets like Vulture, Travel + Leisure, CNN Travel and Glamour, and she’s the Disneyland editor for SFGate. Read her work at Travel-Sip-Repeat.com.