Ever get the feeling you’re not wanted?
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have reportedly not been invited to join the royal family at Christmas this year, with details of the Sussex-free Sandringham guest list appearing just hours after sources described as friends were quoted as saying they would like an invite.
The leaking of the official guest list to ITV.com’s respected royal reporter Chris Ship so soon after the notion of the Sussexes being invited was floated will be seen by many as a clear sign that the palace wanted to shut down speculation around the story. Rubbing salt into the wound, it was also revealed that Prince Andrew, who was forced to stand down from royal life after being accused of sex crimes, is to be hosted at one of the properties most desirable homes, Wood Farm, the former home of Prince Philip.
“Would you want to sit down for a slap-up lunch with someone who had basically called you an asshole in public?”
— A friend of Prince William, speaking to The Daily Beast
The king’s office is thought to have been annoyed in recent days by the Sussex camp leaking details of a private phone call made by Harry and his family to the king to congratulate him on his birthday, which had the effect of focusing media attention on personality-driven family drama rather than Charles’ new anti-food waste project.
If they have been equally unimpressed by the Sussexes testing the water on Christmas in mid-November, it might go some way to explaining the rapid rebuttal.
A friend of Prince William’s told The Daily Beast that William would have been implacably opposed to joining any party for Christmas lunch which included Harry and Meghan.
“The whole idea of them coming for Christmas was typically narcissistic and delusional,” the friend said. “There is no way William or Kate would want them there after what he wrote in his book. Would you want to sit down for a slap-up lunch with someone who had basically called you an asshole in public? It would be a total humiliation. William and Kate are never, ever going to sign up for that, and Charles wouldn’t ask them to.”
Last week, after Omid Scobie said the two brothers were still not speaking to each other, a source told The Daily Beast with remarkable precision: “[William] absolutely fucking hates [Harry].”
ITV’s Ship, a well-respected and veteran royal correspondent, wrote on ITV.com that Camilla’s “two children and five grandchildren” would be invited, and that the extra numbers mean the big lunch will now be “served in the larger ballroom of Sandringham House rather than the dining room, as has been the tradition.”
The change of venue will confirm the impression given last year that Charles is tending towards grander and more lavish Christmas celebrations than his mother.
Ship added: “Despite the extra numbers, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will not be there.”
Ship added that Queen Camilla’s family guests will include her son Tom Parker Bowles, daughter Laura Lopes and her sister, the interior designer Annabel Elliot who is one of Camilla’s official “Queen’s Companions” the term chosen to replace the archaic title of “Ladies-in-Waiting.”
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