Happy royal Christmas? That’s still TBA
Friends of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle say the couple would “readily accept” an invitation to the royal family’s traditional Christmas gathering at Sandringham (where the couple were last part of the seasonal celebrations in 2018), or a summer stay at Balmoral. However, so far King Charles has not invited them.
A friend told the Sunday Times: “I can’t imagine the Sussexes would decline an invitation to spend time with His Majesty. As of yet, there have not been any invitations for the holidays.” Buckingham Palace declined to comment on the story to the Times.
How ready Charles would be to make the invite is unknown. While his phone call with Harry and Meghan in his 75th birthday week has been much discussed, Harry and Prince William’s relationship remains fractured beyond repair, according to biographer Omid Scobie in his latest tome.
Security is an issue of ongoing concern for Harry, now the couple no longer have Frogmore Cottage in Windsor as a British base. Sources close to Harry and Meghan told the Times that, “without security or a place to stay in the UK, they now need a ‘formal invitation’ from the king or Buckingham Palace to be able to stay on ‘protected property’ that has adequate security for the whole family.”
Royal aides told the paper that “temporary accommodation for Harry on the royal estate, which is covered by heightened protection, is likely to be made available for him, when feasible, if requested for any short visits.”
Harry’s legal battle with the Home Office over his security provision while in the U.K. is ongoing—even though he has offered to pay for it.
The Times also reports on the fallout from this week’s allegedly warm and friendly phone call between Charles and the Sussexes.
Much pain, the Times contends, is centered around how little King Charles has seen Harry and Meghan’s kids, Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet. Charles met Archie “a handful of times as a baby” before his parents left the U.K., while he met Lilibet for the first time last summer in what was reported as a “very emotional” moment when the Sussexes were back in the U.K. for Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
The Times points out that Charles has never spent a Christmas with Archie and Lili, “nor, it is thought, any significant time with them. It is understood there is deep sadness on both sides of the Atlantic at this status quo.”
“He’d much rather the focus was on his work, not the soap opera of the private life.”
— Source close to King Charles
Sources close to Meghan and Harry told the paper that the call was a positive “turning point” in Charles and Harry’s relationship. However, courtiers also found it “baffling” that a private conversation was briefed in advance and afterwards.
Even Harry and Meghan’s friends recognize that the royals may be put off with reconciling with the couple, if details of conversations keep finding their way into newspapers and salacious books.
“They realize they’ve got to a place where private conversations and calls could be questioned if they’re going to be private,” a source told the Times.
A source close to Charles told the paper: “It frustrates him that personal issues intrude on the public duty. He’d much rather the focus was on his work, not the soap opera of the private life. It is always frustrating when family dynamics overshadow the public role.”
King Charles is seeing more of his Cambridge grandchildren—George, ten, Charlotte, eight, and Louis, five—according to a report in the Mail on Sunday, establishing a new routine where he tries to stop in to see them on Friday afternoons on his way to his private country home, Highgrove House.
The report cites a source as saying: “His habits are that he heads to Highgrove [in Gloucestershire] for the weekend and will stop at Windsor on Fridays. Obviously, that makes it more possible to see his grandchildren, with whom he has an incredibly warm and fond relationship.”
The source added: “Charles wants to spend more time with his grandchildren. There’s so much love there.”
In an interview five years ago, William said of his father, when asked if he spent much time with his grandchildren: “Having more time with him at home would be lovely, and being able to play around with the grandchildren. Because when he’s there, he’s brilliant. But we need him there as much as possible.”
Fergie: daytime TV star
Sarah Ferguson is going to join top-rated, scandal-hit British daytime magazine show This Morning as a presenter and editor for its edition tomorrow, Monday. The Sun reports that Ferguson has appeared as a guest before, and said: “I’m looking forward to being there for the whole morning, and thrilled to be guest editing the show which will mean getting to explore some topics I’m passionate about.”
Those stories will reportedly include: defibrillators, how to re-home a dog, an interview with Sir Cliff Richard, and skin protection. Fergie’s appearance follows her recently sitting on the panel of Loose Women, the show that follows This Morning, and the British version of The View.
This Morning used to be hosted by Philip Schofield and Holly Willoughby. Schofield resigned in May, after a series of scandals and controversies—and finally revelations of a extra-marital relationship with a younger colleague (before he publicly came out), while Willoughby left the show after it was revealed a man had plotted to kidnap and kill her.
Harry ‘sickened’ by Graydon Carter comments
Graydon Carter, still best known from his time as the editor of Vanity Fair magazine, recently opined that Harry and Meghan’s marriage would last “years not decades.” Now a report in Heat magazine says Harry is “sickened” at the inference by Carter, given the credibility he has in “society circles.”
The source told Heat, per the Mirror, “When Graydon Carter weighs in on a topic like this, important people in the highest places listen. It’s going to have a domino effect as far as the perceived narrative about their marriage and its long-term prospects goes.”
The source said Carter had no “inside knowledge about any tension in their relationship.”
A source told Heat: “It’s humiliating for them and divorce is absolutely not an option—they have kids, and despite everything, they really do love each other,” the source told the publication.
Harry skips ‘The Crown’
Prince Harry will not be watching the sixth series of The Crown, which portrays his mother’s death and its aftermath, a new report says. Deadline Hollywood said that a source close to Harry had told then he would not stream the new episodes of the show because of their “sensitive nature.”
However, the publication added: “Deadline understands that Prince Harry has no ill feelings towards The Crown’s creators or Netflix about the direction of Season 6.”
Harry has previously been reluctant to criticize The Crown. There has been some speculation that this is connected to his own mega-bucks production deal ewth the streamer. He told James Corden on The Late Late Show that The Crown gives a sense of “putting duty and service above family and everything else.”
He added: “I am way more comfortable with The Crown than I am seeing stories written about my family or my wife. That is obviously fiction, take it how you will.”
This week in royal history
On November 20, 1947, Queen Elizabeth married Prince Philip at Westminster Abbey. On the same date in 1992, Windsor Castle was extensively damaged in a fire, and on the same date in 1995 Princess Diana’s famous, and latterly much contested, interview with BBC’s Panorama was broadcast.
Will the Sussexes get their Christmas invite to Sandringham? Is Prince William and Prince Harry’s relationship really over?
The post Harry and Meghan Ready for Royal Christmas—if Charles Invites Them appeared first on The Daily Beast.