Skip to main contentSkip to footer

Prince Harry and Meghan's Christmas Eve tradition with Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet is so sweet

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are making memories with Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet

Prince Harry and Meghan with their kids
Sharnaz Shahid
Deputy Online Editor
Share this:

Although Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet are yet to celebrate Christmas with their grandfather King Charles, it seems Prince Harry is making sure he brings a little "Windsor family tradition" to their home over the festive period. 

In his memoir, Spare, which was released at the start of the year, the Duke of Sussex opened up about how he and his wife Meghan Markle open some of their presents on Christmas Eve. 

Meghan will stay in California with the children
Prince Harry and Meghan live in California with the children

This tradition of the royals exchanging gifts on Christmas Eve was popularised by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert thanks to the royal family's German ancestry. It's known as Heiligabend Bescherung - which translates as Christmas Eve exchanging presents. 

Reflecting on Christmas 2020, Prince Harry divulged: "We took Archie to find a Christmas tree. A pop-up lot in Santa Barbara. We bought one of the biggest spruces they had. We brought it home, set it up in the living room. Magnificent. We stood back, admiring, counting our blessings. New home. Healthy boy." 

He added: "It was Christmas Eve. We FaceTimed with several friends, including a few in Britain. We watched Archie running around the tree. And we opened presents. Keeping to the Windsor family tradition." 

WATCH: Meghan Markle describes amazing first Christmas with royals at Sandringham

Of one of the gifts, Harry continued: "One present was a little Christmas ornament of...the Queen! I roared. Meg had spotted it in a local store and thought I might like it. I held it to the light. It was Grann's face to a T. I hung it on an eye-level branch. It made me happy to see her there. It made Meg and me smile." 

Unfortunately, Prince Archie, who was 19 months old at the time, suffered a little mishap when he accidentally knocked the ornament. "But then Archie, playing around the tree, jostled the stand, shook the tree, and Granny fell. I heard a smash and turned. Pieces lay all over the floor." 

Archie then tried to fix things, with the doting dad recalling: "Archie ran and grabbed a spray bottle. For some reason he thought spraying water on the broken pieces would fix it. Meg said: 'No, Archie, no—do not spray Gan-Gan!' I grabbed a dustpan and swept up the pieces, all the while thinking: 'This is weird.'" 

Prince Archie snow© Netflix
Prince Archie playing in the snow for the first time

Meghan, 42, and Prince Harry, 39, relocated to the States in 2020, and as well as keeping with some of the royal family traditions, they are making "special memories" with Prince Archie, four, and two-year-old Princess Lilibet. 

Speaking with E! News during Variety's Power of Women event, the former actress remarked: "We're creating new ones now that our little ones are growing up. And we're enjoying every moment of it."

Prince Harry and Meghan with their children© Netflix
Prince Harry and Meghan with their two children

The Duchess of Sussex added: "I love trimming and decorating the tree with my children."

Christmas Day at their California-based mansion is most likely a less formal affair than at Sandringham. The couple haven't spent Christmas with the rest of the royal family at Sandringham since 2018.

A Right Royal Podcast Christmas Special:

On this week's show, we visit Windsor Castle to learn all about how a palace is turned festive and we also visit the Tower of London, where Curator and Public Historian Charles Farris talks us through Christmas and coronations past with some astonishing anecdotes. We'll also be speaking to Call the Midwife star Leonie Elliott fresh from her appearance at the Princess of Wales' carol service, plus we also have podcast favourite the brilliant Alexis Ffrench playing us out with a very special Christmas performance.

More Royalty

See more