- Chris Jackson/Getty Images
- The Duchess of Sussex is being criticized after announcing that she plans to spend Christmas with her mother, Doria Ragland, instead of Queen Elizabeth II.
- Despite a Buckingham Palace representative saying that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s decision “has the support of Her Majesty the Queen,” they were still accused of “snubbing” the monarch.
- However, the duke and duchess are not the first royals to make their own plans for the holiday season, Joe Little, a royal commentator, told Insider.
- “The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge spent Christmas 2016 with her family in Berkshire, so what the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have planned for this Christmas is absolutely no different,” he said.
- Piers Morgan suggested that the only reason Markle would want to spend time with her mother and not the Queen would be to escape the British press.
- In 2012 – the same year that Middleton first missed Christmas at Sandringham – the duchess was involved in her own battle with the press.
- The reaction to Markle’s holiday plans is yet another example of the double standards placed on the duchess.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Meghan Markle is again being blasted by critics who say she’s “snubbing” Queen Elizabeth II by choosing to spend Christmas with her mother instead of the royal family.
And a Buckingham Palace representative’s statement that the couple “has the support of Her Majesty the Queen” hasn’t stopped royal-watchers from criticizing the decision.
“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are looking forward to extended family time towards the end of this month,” the representative said.
“Having spent the last two Christmases at Sandringham, Their Royal Highnesses will spend the holiday this year, as a new family, with the Duchess’ mother Doria Ragland.
“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.”
While the move may seem newsworthy, it’s not uncommon for royals to make other plans for the festive period, despite what recent headlines would suggest.
Will and Kate have skipped Christmas several times
Joe Little, a royal commentator, said this wasn’t a fair depiction of their decision.
“The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge spent Christmas 2016 with her family in Berkshire, so what the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have planned for this Christmas is absolutely no different,” Little, the managing editor of Majesty magazine, told Insider.
- Chris Jelf, Kensington Palace
“No snub to the Queen or anything like that. Pretty much everything about them at the moment is being sensationalized by the media.”
Prince William and Kate Middleton have alternated spending Christmas at Sandringham and with the Middleton family. The first time they did this, in 2012 – the year after the duchess married into the family – headlines were far more neutral than the ones now describing Harry and Markle’s plans.
“William and Kate miss Queen’s Christmas, choosing to spend it with Middletons,” The Telegraph wrote in December 2012.
“Find out why Prince William and Kate won’t be spending Christmas at Sandringham this year,” Hello magazine wrote in 2016.
Both articles said the couple chose to have a more private Christmas – thus not partaking in the famously photographed walk to church with the royal family – so they could spend time with Middleton’s parents, Carole and Michael.
Meanwhile, this week’s headlines suggested that Markle’s reason for wanting to spend Christmas with her mother and not the Queen is to escape the press.
Markle is consistently criticized for doing the same things Middleton is praised for
Piers Morgan wrote in his column for the Mail Online: “If Harry and Meghan don’t want negative press, they should stop behaving like whiny spoiled brats and do their damn duty – and they can start by spending Christmas with the Queen.”
“Barely a week goes by now without them filing lawsuits attacking press freedom, weeping TV tears about the dreadful intrusion they have to endure, or firing off angry directives to newspapers,” Morgan said.
In October, Markle announced plans to sue the Mail on Sunday alleging misuse of private information, infringement of copyright, and breach of the Data Protection Act of 2018 after the newspaper published extracts from a letter she sent to her father, Thomas Markle, earlier this year.
- ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images
Documents filed by the duchess’ lawyers accused the newspaper of publishing fabricated stories – including false details about her relationship with her mother, her baby shower, and the renovations to her Frogmore Cottage home in Windsor – as part of a three-year campaign against her.
Meanwhile, Harry has taken legal action against the owners of The Sun and the Daily Mirror “regarding the illegal interception of voicemail messages,” a Buckingham Palace representative said.
William and Middleton have also been involved in legal battles with the press. Closer magazine published topless photos of Middleton on its cover in 2012, resulting in a lawsuit that was settled in 2017, when the couple won $118,000 in damages.
Though the photos were published in 2012, the same year Middleton first missed Christmas with the royals, news articles did not cite this as a factor.
This isn’t the first time Markle has been criticized for doing something that Middleton has been praised for. For example, headlines accused Markle of seeking attention by cradling her pregnant belly, while others said Middleton was glowing when she did the same thing.
Last year, an InStyle headline accused Markle of breaking protocol for wearing wedges because the Queen “isn’t a fan” of that type of shoe. When Middleton wore them this summer, the same publication said she made them “the most versatile shoes of the summer.”
Christmas isn’t the only private time Harry and Markle spend with the Queen
Kristen Meinzer, a royal commentator who previously told Insider that these double standards could be a result of racism, said royal-watchers were commenting only on what they see playing out in the public eye.
Harry and Markle have a relationship with the Queen behind closed doors – something people seem to forget when making these assumptions, Meinzer told Insider.
“Meghan and Harry have spent the last two Christmases with Harry’s side of the family, and while I’m sure it’s been wonderful, it’s also meant that Meghan has had to be separated from her family for the past two holiday seasons,” she said.
“I’m so happy that this year Meghan will be able to celebrate with her mother.
“As for the inevitable criticism being thrown Meghan’s way from the naysayers and tabloid press, I’d remind people: Kate and William have also skipped the Queen’s festivities at Sandringham.
“And let’s remember: Christmas isn’t the only time that Harry and Meghan get to see the Queen in a private setting. She and Prince Philip are their neighbors every weekend and also during the spring, when they’re in their second home in Windsor.”
- Read more:
- Meghan Markle is being criticized for doing the same things that Kate Middleton is praised for, and a royal expert says it wouldn’t be happening if she were white
- Meghan Markle and Prince Harry confirmed they’re spending their first Christmas with Archie in the US
- Meghan Markle’s new lawsuit could change how the tabloids treat the royal family
- The biggest royal scandals of the past decade
- These are the 3 best photos of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle from 2019, according to the royal family’s photographer