Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are reportedly breaking with royal tradition as they debut their second Christmas card as a married couple. It has been reported by E! News that the couple will be including a non-royal in their family photo, Markle’s mother Doria Ragland.
An insider close to the family reportedly revealed to E! that the couple is expected to share their official Christmas card with the world sometime this week. The card will reportedly be a selection of family photos that will include their son Archie Harrison Mountbatten Windsor and Markle’s mother.
This breaks with royal precedent as Ragland is a non-royal and, as such, would normally not be included in the family’s official Christmas card. Yet, as royal fans have seen with the couple since they first announced their engagement in November 2017, they are quite vested in doing things their own way.
“Harry and Meghan are said to want [to] ensure that some of their Christmas card images reflect that Doria is very much part of their family and of Archie’s upbringing,” the source said to E! News. “It is a break with the protocol from traditional royal Christmas cards, which haven’t historically included grandparents. For instance, Kate’s parents — Carole Middleton and Michael Middleton — have never appeared on any of their Christmas card images.”
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On this day, two years ago: 27th of November 2017, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced the news of their engagement, later becoming Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex! They have since celebrated their wedding anniversary and welcomed their son, Archie, into the world ❤️ • Photo © PA / Alexi Lubomirski / Chris Allerton © SussexRoyal
Last year, Prince Harry and Markle were highly criticized for their first Christmas card as a married couple, a black-and-white image the couple shared from their wedding reception.
The photo, shared by Kensington Palace on Twitter, depicted Prince Harry and Markle with their backs to the camera watching a fireworks display. It was taken during a family reception at Frogmore House, which was held in the evening after an official formal afternoon fete at Buckingham Palace.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are delighted to share a new photograph from their Wedding Reception at Frogmore House on 19th May.— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) December 14, 2018
The photograph, which features on Their Royal Highnesses’ Christmas card, was taken by photographer Chris Allerton. pic.twitter.com/PQPUuRwnIj
The couple has been staying with Ragland since the Thanksgiving holiday and will remain with her through Christmas and into the new year before returning to England to resume their royal duties.
This means that, per E! News, the couple will miss Queen Elizabeth’s annual holiday gathering in Sandringham. Although much has been made of the prince and Markle missing the royal festivities, they reportedly have the support of the queen in their decision.
Prince Harry and Markle are enjoying their time out of the spotlight with Ragland. The couple came under fire upon the debut of an ITV special which aired this fall titled Harry & Meghan: An African Journey that painted the duo in an unflattering light.
The special, which also aired in the United States on ABC Television, depicted the couple diligently working on their philanthropic interests in Africa. However, it also painted a darker side of royal life for Markle, who admitted that life in the public eye can be challenging.
“Especially as a woman it’s really — it’s a lot. So you add this on top of just trying to be a new mom and trying to be a newlywed,” the Duchess of Sussex said in the interview with Tom Bradby and quoted by USA Today. “And also thank you for asking, because not many people will have asked if I’m OK. But it’s a very real thing to be going through behind the scenes.”