As the royal family solidifies its plans for the holiday season, more information is being released about the guest list — both who will and will not be in attendance. It looks like Meghan Markle's Christmas plans with the royal family will be missing one special person: her mother. According to People, Doria Ragland is not set to be at Queen Elizabeth's Christmas celebration this year despite her being invited.
Kensington Palace extended a formal invitation to Ragland, In Touch Weekly reported roughly a month ago. But reports from multiple outlets suggest that Markle's mom declined. Traditionally, in-laws do not make the guest list, as People reported, so Ragland's invitation was a bit of a surprise. But the fact that Markle is expecting a child and across the ocean from her mother could explain why tradition was broken this year.
But even though Ragland won't be there, Markle will be in good company for the holidays. ELLE reported that she, Prince Harry, Kate Middleton, Prince William, and the three littlest royals will all be spending Christmas at Sandringham House with The Queen again this year. As you'll recall, Markle famously made headlines last year when she was invited to the festivities before marrying into the family.
The royal family has a strict immediate relative rule when it comes to holiday gatherings, and Christmas is no different. As People pointed out, the Duchess Kate's parents, the Middletons, have never been at one of the royal Christmas parties. As such, Kate and William have skipped Christmas at Sandringham in the past to be with other family instead. When Markle was included at Sandringham House in 2017, it sparked rumors that she and Harry couldn't bear to be away from one another for such an important day. No explanation has been given as to why Ragland was invited this year, but her close relationship with Markle could be a part of it.
While Ragland may not be in London for Christmas, it hasn't been all that long since she was with her daughter. She was last there in September to help Markle promote the charity cookbook that the Duchess of Sussex has described as a "labor of love," according to the BBC. While there, Ragland introduced herself ton the gathered crowd as "Meg's mom," saying that she was "head over heels" with pride for her daughter.
Markle and Prince Harry recently announced their plans to head back to the U.S. after their baby arrives in the spring. The exact date has not been announced and is reportedly dependent on the exact date that Markle gives birth, but according to Vanity Fair, they will be crossing the pond some time in the fall.
Ragland is most likely looking forward to having her daughter back in their home country as it will save her a trip to London. People recently reported that Ragland will not be moving from her home in Los Angeles to live with Markle and Prince Harry once they take up residence in Windsor Castle's Frogmore Cottage next year. But given her life and career as a yoga instructor in California, her decision to remain there is completely understandable.
While Ragland remains stateside, Markle's holiday celebration will include gift opening on Christmas Eve, decadent meals, and church services on Christmas Day, according to ELLE. She will likely be missing her mom, but there are plenty of other holidays throughout the year that the two of them can spend together. And I have no doubt that Ragland received one of the gorgeous Christmas cards that Markle and Prince Harry sent out, featuring a sweet shot from their wedding reception.
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