A new tradition? Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan will celebrate Christmas in Canada with their 7-month-old son, Archie, in lieu of ushering in the holiday with the royal family.
“Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are spending private family time in Canada,” a spokesperson for the couple confirmed in a statement to Us Weekly on Friday, December 20. “The decision to base themselves in Canada reflects the importance of this Commonwealth country to them both.”
The statement continued: “For security reasons we will not be releasing any further details and request that their privacy is requested.”
The spokesperson went on to highlight the duo’s attachment to the area and their desire to introduce Archie to a spot that is special to them: “The Duke of Sussex has been a frequent visitor to Canada over many years, and it was also home to The Duchess for seven years before she became a member of the Royal Family. They are enjoying sharing the warmth of the Canadian people and the beauty of the landscape with their young son.”
Meghan, 38, and Harry, 35, left royal watchers in suspense about their Christmas plans when Buckingham Palace announced in November that they would forego the traditional celebrations with Queen Elizabeth II, Prince William, Duchess Kate 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. Having spent the last two Christmases at Sandringham, [the couple] will spend the holiday this year, as a new family, with the duchess’ mother, Doria [Ragland],” a statement from the palace read. “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.”
A source revealed exclusively to Us in November that the queen, 93, was “disappointed” by Harry and Meghan’s decision.
Meanwhile, another insider shared that admitted tension with William, 37, factored into the switch in festivities. “Harry and Meghan are having a small Christmas with just immediate family instead of spending it at Sandringham,” the source told Us. “The rift between William and Harry is one of the main reasons behind their decision.”
Canada holds significance for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Meghan lived in the country while filming Suits, and she and Harry made their first official joint appearance at the Invictus Games in Toronto in September 2017. Us also broke the news in October that they “have considered moving to Canada.”