The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will not be joining the Queen at the annual Buckingham Palace party to thank royal staff on Monday, according to reports. A source told the MailOnline that Prince Harry, 35, and Meghan, 38, had already informed the 93-year-old monarch, who is understanding of the situation.
The couple are currently on a six-week break from royal duties and are thought to have taken their seven-month-old son Archie abroad to see Meghan's mother, Doria Ragland. A source added: "As the couple made clear a few weeks ago, they are taking some time away together as a family. This means that they will miss Christmas events."
Harry and Meghan are also likely to miss the Queen's pre-Christmas lunch with her extended family this week, but they have attended previous years. It was confirmed last month that the Sussexes would not be spending the festive period at Sandringham with the royal family this year.
Harry and Meghan on the way to the Queen's Christmas lunch in 2018
HELLO! understands Harry and Meghan's decision has the support of Her Majesty and is in line with precedent set previously by other members of the royal family. Similarly, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge spent Christmas with Kate's parents Carole and Michael Middleton in 2012 and 2016.
The Sussexes were last seen in public for the Remembrance Day services, but the couple have remained active on social media. Throughout December Harry and Meghan have been highlighting charities and organisations which care for those in need on Instagram, including Shelter, the Salvation Army and Los Angeles Mission.
Archie joined his parents on their royal tour of Africa in September when he made his public debut during a meeting with Archbishop Desmond Tutu and fans couldn't get over how much he looks like dad Harry, when he was a baby.
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