MEGHAN Markle snubbed the Queen’s Christmas invite despite having an “unprecedented” welcome into the royal fold, according to reports.
The Queen is said to have broken strict protocol to invite Meghan to spend Christmas with the royals at Sandringham in 2017 – something that wouldn’t usually have happened with Harry only engaged to the actress at the time.
She also included a picture of Meghan next to her during her Christmas speech that year and even invited Meghan’s mum Doria Ragland to the Christmas gathering – an invite never extended to Kate Middleton’s parents.
The red-carpet was rolled out for Meghan once again in 2018 – but by 2019 Harry, Meghan and newborn son Archie were nowhere to be seen, the Express reported.
And this year the runaway royals are staying away once again having fled the UK to set-up a new life in California.
According to Marie Claire, the couple are planning on hosting Meghan’s school friend Katharine McPhee, 36, and her producer husband David Foster, 71 – who has reportedly become a “new father figure” to Harry in the US.
Mum-to-be Katharine previously told Access Hollywood: “My husband has a really, really beautiful relationship with Harry. They’re so cute. They’re like father and son.”
Follow our Meghan and Harry live blog below for the very latest news on the couple and the Royal Family
HARRY AND MEGHAN ‘WENT UP AGAINST A LOT’ IN 2020 – INCLUDING THE MONARCHY
There’s no denying that 2020 has been a life-changing year for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.
In January, the couple announced they were stepping down as senior royals – and by August, they’d bought their new £11m ‘forever home’ in California.
Discussing the challenges the couple have faced this year, royal expert Omid Scobie told Vanity Fair: “Every step of the way there have been unexpected challenges.
“They have had to go up against a lot — the press, their legal battles and even the institution of the monarchy.
“But they’ve remained positive and it’s the support they give each other and their focus on what’s important that gets them through.”
MEGHAN AND HARRY ‘OPTIMISTIC ABOUT 2021’
There’s no denying that 2020 has been a game-changing year for Meghan and Harry – and an expert has claimed the royal couple are “optimistic” about what 2021 has in store.
Speaking to Vanity Fair, Omid Scobie said: “I think they’re excited and optimistic about 2021 when everything will come to realization.
“We’ll see the fruits of their labour— Archewell, Netflix. I think it’s the year we will get to see what their legacy will be.”
The co-author of Finding Freedom also claimed that 2020 had been a “rollercoaster” for Meghan and Harry after they quit the Royal Family in January.
MEGHAN ‘EXCITED TO HOST FIRST CHRISTMAS IN CALIFORNIA’
This time last year, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry were figuring out the logistics of Megxit when they spent the festive season in Canada with baby Archie.
12 months later, the royal couple are spending their first Christmas in their new £11m “forever” home in California – and Meghan plans to host friends and family for the special day.
An insider told Marie Claire: “Meghan very much wants to host the first Christmas at their new home with her mum.
“She’s really excited and is planning on doing all the traditions she grew up with as a child, including the cooking.”
PRINCE HARRY TO CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS WITH ‘NEW FATHER FIGURE’ DAVID FOSTER
This Christmas is the first one Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will spend in their new California mansion.
According to Marie Claire, the couple are planning on hosting Meghan’s school friend Katharine McPhee and her husband David Foster – who has reportedly become a “new father figure” to Harry in the US.
An insider told Marie Claire: “[Meghan is] really excited and is planning on doing all the traditions she grew up with as a child, including the cooking.”
Along with Meghan’s mother Doria, the source added: “They’ve also invited David and Katharine to spend it with them.
“David had mentioned Harry and Meghan going to theirs but Meghan wants it at home.”
HARRY AND WILLIAM ‘WILL NEVER BE AS CLOSE’, EXPERT CLAIMS
When Prince Harry announced that he was quitting the Royal Family in January, his older brother Prince William was reportedly ‘incandescent with rage’.
Earlier this month, The Sun exclusively revealed that the brothers had exchanged presents ahead of Christmas and plan to speak to each other via video calls during the festive period.
However, royal expert Katie Nicholl claims Harry and William are not as friendly as they were before Megxit.
Appearing on True Royalty TV’s Royal Beat, she said: “I don’t think they ever will be close in the same way that they were before.
“But I do think there have been nine months since Megxit and relations are better between them.”
OPRAH’S INVOLVEMENT IN MEGHAN’S START-UP INVESTMENT LABELLED ‘TACKY’
Last week, Meghan Markle reportedly “angered the Palace” by getting her A-list pal Oprah Winfrey to flog her new coffee investment on Instagram.
Writing in The Sunday Times this weekend, expert Roya Nikkhah claimed that the celebrity endorsement has raised a few eyebrows in royal circles.
She wrote: “The manner of last week’s coup induced a bout of queasiness in royal circles, where Oprah’s involvement was considered ‘tacky’ and ‘clumsy’.
“Harry and Meghan had pledged their future activities would ‘uphold the values of Her Majesty’.
“An almighty plug from a talk-show host flagging her royal connections has stretched the elastic contours of the ‘Megxit’ deal to snapping point.”
MEGHAN AND HARRY ‘WANT DIFFERENT KIND OF PUBLIC LIFE’
After stepping down as senior working royals in January, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry were understood to be seeking out a more private life in LA.
But according to a royal expert, the couple don’t want to have a totally private existence.
Writing in Town & Country, royal expert Victoria Murphy argued: “Meghan and Harry have taken the Royal Family, the media, and the public into uncharted territory with their decision to walk away from royal life.
“They have stepped back not in search of a totally private life but for a different kind of public life.
“A public life where they can have more control over who gets access to them and what they spend their time on.”
Shortly after Megxit was announced, Meghan and Harry temporarily lived in Canada before relocating to LA when the coronavirus crisis broke.
MEGHAN AND HARRY RISKED ‘ECLIPSING’ OTHER MEMBERS OF THE ROYAL FAMILY, EXPERT CLAIMS
They might have stepped down as senior working Royals in March – but at the height of their fame, an expert claimed that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry were at risk of “eclipsing” other members of the Royal Family.
Speaking on Yahoo’s Royal Box, royal author Katie Nicholl said: “I think it’s fair to say that Meghan and Harry have really occupied the spotlight. Since the royal wedding they are rarely off the front pages.
“I think there is a risk that they could eclipse other members of the royal family.
“We are already seeing more column inches dedicated to Meghan and Harry than we are to the Cambridges and certainly to the Prince of Wales.
“You only need to look back in time to Diana and the phenomenon that she was and actually the negatives that came with eclipsing her husband it did have, at points, a negative knock on effect to the monarchy.”
KATE WAS ‘MORE SUITED’ TO ROYAL LIFE THAN MEGHAN, FORMER ROYAL BUTLER CLAIMS
They may have both married into one of the world’s most famous families – but a royal expert has claimed that Kate Middleton was “more suited” to life as a royal than her sister-in-law Meghan Markle.
Speaking to the Express, former royal butler Grant Harrold said: “When the Duchess of Cambridge married into the family, she was British, she went to St Andrews, she has a good education.
“She was up on that, dare I say it, royal way of life. She wasn’t a stranger to it, she understood what she was expecting. It wasn’t second nature but it wasn’t difficult.”
While Kate Middleton and Prince William had known each other for 10 years when they tied the knot in 2011, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry had a more whirlwind romance in comparison – after Prince Harry popped the question after 18 months.
Grant added: “The positives for Meghan I think is the duty of royalty has to have an element of acting about it – you have to put on a brave face, put the best foot forward, smile, say the right thing.”
KATE AND WILLIAM DIDN’T MEET ARCHIE FOR 8 DAYS, BOOK CLAIMS
When Meghan Markle and Prince Harry welcomed baby Archie in May last year, the couple decided to keep the details of his birth mostly private.
And now a new royal biography has claimed that the youngest addition to the Royal Family didn’t meet his aunt and uncle for over a week.
In his new book, Battle of Brothers, royal expert and the advisor for the TV show The Crown Robert Lacey claims the Sussexes’ desire for privacy ruffled feathers behind palace walls.
He writes: “Prince William did not think too highly of Harry and Meghan’s ‘prima donna’ manoeuvres to conceal the birth of their son.
“He and Kate failed to visit the new arrival for a full eight days.”
WILLIAM AND HARRY ‘TOOK OPPOSITE LESSONS’ FROM CHARLES AND DIANA’S MARRIAGE
They might belong to the most famous family in the world – but according to royal expert Robert Lacey, Prince William and Prince Harry are completely different people.
In his new book Battle of the Brothers, the expert claims the brothers took “opposite lessons” from their parents’ failed marriage.
He explained: “These young boys are the product of that marital turmoil, and they took two opposite lessons from it.
“William took the lesson of duty, as he went through these difficult times, the prospect that he was going to be King was inspiration and strength for him.”
While Harry and Meghan married after less than two years of dating, Prince William popped the question to Kate after nine years to ensure she was “up to the job”.
Robert added: “Harry took the opposite conclusion from the turmoil of his parents’ loveless arranged marriage. He was going to go for love, so we are looking at a clash between these eternal principles of love versus duty.”
KATE MIDDLETON’S CHEEKY PRESENT TO PRINCE HARRY REVEALED
Kate Middleton and Prince William have been together for almost 20 YEARS now – so it’s safe to say that Prince Harry is almost like a little brother to her now.
Back in 2011, the Duchess was spending her first Christmas at Sandringham with the Royal Family when she decided to get Harry a VERY cheeky present.
Poking fun at his single status, Grazia reported: “Kate and William have bought him a Grow Your Own Girlfriend kit, along with a more stylish gift – Gucci loafers because ‘all his shoes have holes in them’.
As for The Queen, Kate reportedly played it safe by buying Her Majesty a framed photo of her and her corgis.
MEGHAN’S CHRISTMAS STYLING TIPS REVEALED
In a resurfaced interview with Grazia, Meghan 39, suggested “keeping it simple and crisp” with the table laid with white crockery and a white table cloth.
Gilded plates should be used, along with napkin rings and a “stylish set of cutlery.”
She added: “All white flowers placed in the low vases are the perfect centerpiece.”
When speaking about how to “fake fancy” her home, she advised: “Purchase silver serving trays, platters, nut bowls from flea markets or Etsy to add formality to hors d’oeuvres passing. “
Meanwhile, for hallways you could add garlands or magnolia branches round banisters or mantelpieces.
MEGHAN REVEALS HOW SHE GOES ON A ‘MENTAL DETOX’ EVERY FESTIVE SEASON
Before she married Prince Harry, Meghan Markle was a prolific Instagram user – and even amassed over 10.5m followers on the Sussex Royal account when she was a working Royal.
But on her old blog The Tig, the Duchess of Sussex revealed that she would take a break from social media during every festive season.
In a now-deleted blog post, Meghan recommended her fans take a “digital detox” between Christmas and New Year.
She wrote: “Without the distractions of texting, Snapping, and reading endless emails, your brain will get the mental detox it so deeply deserves.”
THROWBACK PHOTO OF MEGHAN FROM UNIVERSITY DAYS
An old university photo of Meghan Markle has resurfaced online – showing the Duchess of Sussex taking part in a dance marathon for charity.
In 2000, Meghan was a 19-year-old student at North Western University – where she got a double major in theatre and international studies.
For the Royal Wedding in 2018, her former dance group Gilda’s Club Chicago shared a throwback photo of the Duchess at a charity dance marathon from 20 years ago.
The cancer support group captioned the picture: “In honour of the Royal Wedding, we’d like to share this photo from the 2000 North Western Dance Marathon supporting Gilda’s Club Chicago, featuring her Royal Highness.”
MEGXIT ‘LEFT A LOT OF COLLATERAL DAMAGE’ – BUT IT’S WORTH IT FOR MEGHAN AND HARRY’S HAPPINESS, EXPERT CLAIMS
This time last year, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry were considering what life would be like if they stepped down outside the Royal Family.
Flash forward 12 months, the couple have forged a new life for themselves in California with their son Archie – having signed two lucrative contracts with Spotify and Netflix.
And while Megxit might have sent shockwaves through the monarchy, an insider has claimed it was the right decision for Meghan and Harry.
Speaking to the Express, an insider claimed: “If they are happy, then the gamble of leaving has paid off.
“Even if there has been a lot of collateral damage.”
MEGHAN’S FIRST CHRISTMAS PRESENT OT THE QUEEN ‘MAULED TO PIECES’ BY CORGIS
What do you get the woman who appears to have everything? Well for her first Christmas with the Royal Family, Meghan Markle reportedly bought her a singing toy hamster.
The Daily Star reported in 2018: “Meghan bought a little hamster that sings with a little rope for Her Majesty.”
While it might sound quirky, the hilarious present was a hit with Her Majesty – who allegedly said: “It can keep my dogs’ company.”
Sadly though, the hamster reportedly didn’t last long and the paper reported that Meghan’s toy hamster was “mauled to pieces” by the Queen’s corgis before the end of the holiday.
MEGHAN AND HARRY ARE ‘MOST TWEETED ABOUT ROYALS’ IN 2020
When Meghan Markle and Prince Harry quit the Royal Family in January, it sent shockwaves around the world – and since then, the couple have continued dominated headlines.
And so it’s hardly surprising that the pair have been named the “most tweeted about” royals of 2020.
According to Harper’s Bazaar, more than 20million tweets were written about the Royal Family this year – which was a 30 per cent increase from 2019.
Without disclosing the exact figures, Omid Scobie – who co-authored the book Finding Freedom – claimed Harry and Meghan won the top two spots by a “landslide”.
He wrote: “The duchess’s newly found freedom, steady stream of meaningful appearances, and candid conversations, including her emotional New York Times essay last month on losing a baby, saw Meghan at the center of more Twitter conversations than any other royal.”
IN PICS: Prince Harry and Meghan out in Beverly Hills with masks today
MILITARY TO TRY QUEEN’S MINCE PIES
The Queen, Prince of Wales, Duke of Cambridge and Prince George each used a wooden spoon to make mince pies a few days before Christmas last year, for the RBL’s Together At Christmas initiative.
Now the festive treats have been given to serving military, volunteers and people supported by the RBL who took part in virtual gatherings to bring people together.
At Buckingham Palace last December, the royals stirred four large puddings bowls, which traditionally brings good luck, and added four sixpences to be found by lucky recipients.
DUKE AND DUCHESS OF CORNWALL’S CHRISTMAS CARD
DUKE AND DUCHESS OF CAMBRIDGE OFFICIAL CHRISTMAS CARD
SUSSEX XMAS SNAP
Harry and Meghan plan to publish an official family Christmas photograph despite stepping down as working royals, it has been claimed.
The Sussexes are set to reveal their annual snap and release a “holiday special” podcast.
Omid Scobie, author of their biography, Finding Freedom, said: “There is this forthcoming Christmas card photo.
“I believe it is on its way.”
It comes days after William and Kate shared a photo with their three children.
MEG AND HARRY ANNOUNCE PARTNERSHIP TO FEED VULNERABLE
Meghan and Harry confirm plans for their first chartable venture as part of the Archewell Foundation.
The duke and duchess will team up with World Central Kitchen and its founder José Andrés to feed those affected by disasters across the world.
Their partnership will create several Community Relief Centres, such as food distribution hubs, schools and medical clinics.
ROYAL EXPERT SAYS THE SUSSEX’S ROYAL PHOTO IS ON ITS WAY
Omid Scobie, who is the co-author of biography Finding Freedom, which looks into the Sussexes’ life during their time as senior royals, says a Christmas photo is coming,
He says an official festive photograph featuring Meghan, Prince Harry and 18-month-old Archie, should be expected in the next couple of days.