Inside Duchess Meghan, Prince Harry, and Archie's California Christmas Plans
Yesterday, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex released their Christmas card through Mayhew, an animal rescue organization that Duchess Meghan is the patroness of. The portrait is from a photo Meghan's mother Doria took of the family of three: Prince Harry, Meghan and an almost eighteen-month-old Archie, along with their two rescue pups Beagle Guy and Black Lab Pula, in their backyard in their new home in Montecito, California
A spokesman for the Duke and Duchess told ELLE.com: "The original photo of the family was taken by the Duchess' mother at her home earlier this month. The small Christmas tree, including the homemade ornaments and other decorations, was chosen by Archie and the tree will be replanted after the holidays. "
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Alongside the card, Mayhew announced that the Sussexes made donations to three charities: Mayhew, the Henry Van Straubenzee Memorial Fund, which helps disadvantaged children in Uganda, and Transition House, which supports the homeless. Prince Harry and Prince William are both supporters of the Henry van Straubenezee Memorial Fund, which was set up when their childhood friend died in a tragic car accident
The message on the Christmas card reads: “This year we as a family made donations for you to various charities. From a local California organization helping families out of homelessness to two of our UK patronages, one of which supports animal and community welfare, and the other, a memorial fund that helps educate children and fight poverty contributing to Uganda, we have recognized their work on behalf of all of us. "
We haven't seen an updated photo of Archie running now as Prince Harry and Meghan shared an adorable video of the Duchess reading Duck, Rabbit! to Archie on his first birthday when the little boy showed he was his father's likeness of the same age. The video was shot by Prince Harry and posted on the UK Save the Children website to support the #savewithstories campaign for families affected by the coronavirus. The book was a gift to the couple from Oprah Winfrey, who have since become neighbors to Harry and Meghan after buying their "forever home" near Oprah's Montecito, California property.
Eager to protect their son's privacy so that he "could grow up in as normal an environment as possible," the Sussexes have posted limited photos of an Archie growing. The seventh row on the throne is now going and growing by leaps and bounds.
Archie accompanied his parents on the couple's royal tour of South Africa in just four months. He attended a tea visit at the home of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, but has been largely out of sight since Harry and Meghan stepped down from their roles as high-ranking kings to lead more private lives last March.
Meghan and Harry told Malala Yousafzai in early fall that while they were isolated at home they could enjoy all of Archie's milestones. We "were both there for his first steps, his first run, his first fall, his first everything," shared Harry, and Meghan added, "And it's just fantastic because I think we're lucky in so many ways to be able to have this time to watch him grow and without COVID we would be more outside travel and work and we would miss a lot of those moments ... I think it was a lot of really good family time. "
ELLE.com has learned that the family intends to spend their first Christmas in the US "quietly at home with Meghan's mother Doria in Santa Barbara". Meghan, an accomplished gourmet cook, will be preparing some of her favorite dishes. The Sussexes will be "exchanging Christmas presents with the whole family". Harry and Meghan have sent gifts to Prince William and Kate and the couple's children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.
ELLE also understands that Harry and Meghan will "be talking to family members over the holidays, just like any family". COVID-19 has really brought the family closer together. Both Prince Charles and Prince William fell ill with the disease, and Prince Harry, of course, was concerned about being so far away. Harry stays close to his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, who, as a result of the pandemic, will also "quietly" spend Christmas at Windsor Castle, contrary to tradition. Harry plans to video call her so she and Prince Philip can enjoy their adorable great grandson Archie.
The Queen has isolated herself with a small group of staff at Windsor Castle in what is known as the HMS Bubble. The family normally gathers in Sandringham every year, but due to the lockdown in London and the nation's southeast which has been downgraded to Tier 4 restrictions, the Christmas celebrations, where the three families could celebrate together for most years, have all been canceled . The Queen had a brief reunion at Windsor Castle with Prince William, Kate, Prince Charles and Camila after the train journey to Cambridge a few weeks ago.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex spent last Christmas outside the Royal Family in Canada at the Mille Fleurs estate in North Saanich at the tip of the Vancouver Island peninsula. Last year, the couple also shared an adorable vacation photo of Archie captured by Meghan's dear friend, Morning Show actress Janina Gavankar, and a cute video of the couple's reporting year that included a picture of baby Archie, that was held by his father.
ELLE believe the couple have no immediate plans to return to London for the foreseeable future due to COVID-19 health guidelines. It remains to be seen whether they will return in late spring for Prince Philip's 100th birthday and for the Queen's 95th official birthday party Trooping the Color in June. At the moment, Harry and Meghan are following all relevant medical recommendations and travel guidelines.
The couple had planned to attend Prince Harry's Invictus Games for Wounded, Injured and Sick Members and Veterans in The Hague this past spring until the event was postponed amid travel restrictions due to the global pandemic. The unveiling of the Princess Diana statue at Kensington Palace is also expected later in 2021, but it is currently unclear whether it could be postponed due to global travel restrictions.
The Sussexes had planned to return to London in the next few weeks over the ongoing violation of the privacy lawsuit against Associated Newspapers and the Mail on Sunday. However, this was postponed by nine months to the next autumn. The judge could give a summary judgment in the case that would rule out a return.
Meanwhile, Harry and Meghan and a growing Archie are enjoying family time in their new home while the Sussexes have been busy with their humanitarian and charitable work through their charitable Archewell. Just last week, the Duchess announced an investment in an oat milk latte company founded by women. And over the weekend, Archewell announced its partnership with World Central Kitchen, which will help people across the world who are suffering from food insecurity. This is an issue that Harry and Meghan drew attention to by volunteering with food banks and distributing food to vulnerable people since the pandemic started. 2021 promises to be an exciting year for the Sussexes and Archewell.
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