Prince Harry and Meghan Markle 'see the Queen regularly' now they're neighbours

Ellen Manning

They have been dogged by rumours of a rift between other members of the royal family all year, but Prince Harry and Meghan Markle actually see the Queen regularly now they’re neighbours, one royal expert has revealed.

Omid Scobie said now the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are neighbours with the Queen, they see her far more than most people realise.

That means that rumours that they and baby Archie won’t spend Christmas with her aren’t actually as significant as they may seem, he suggested.

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Britain's Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex holding their son Archie, meet Archbishop Desmond Tutu (not pictured) at the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation in Cape Town, South Africa, September 25, 2019. Reuters Photographer Toby Melville: ''I took this photograph during The Duke and Duchess of Sussex's official tour in southern Africa, across a courtyard balcony as they met Nobel-prize-winning civil rights activist Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Though Tutu is not in this frame, the presence of this magnetic personality I think put both Meghan and Harry at ease. Technically the image is helped by the bright sunlight which bounced around the white courtyard walls and lifted the details in Archie and Meghan's facial features, particularly in Meghan's eyes, and made the photograph more arresting. This was the first "public" outing of Archie since pooled photos were taken of him two days after he was born. Harry and Meghan tread a fine line trying to keep their personal life private while using the press to promote their causes. They had choreographed exactly when they wanted their son to be filmed and photographed on this tour. Unlike some of the other British Royal Family tours, direct access and interaction with Harry and Meghan is more limited. In part, I think it is due to the early stage of their relationship and the unpredictability of having a five-month-old child in tow, but also it is because of Harry and Meghan's prickly relationship with some of the media." REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo     SEARCH "POY STORIES 2019" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Prince Harry and wife Meghan see the Queen regularly now they're neighbours, Omid Scobie told Yahoo UK's The Royal Special (Picture: REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo)

Speaking on Yahoo UK’s The Royal Special, he said: “We have to remember the Sussexes are practically neighbours with the Queen anyway.

“I was told by an aide at Buckingham palace that they do see her probably more often than they used to when they were based in London.

“So while we don’t hear about it, they’re in and out of each other’s lives more than we think.”

Every year, the royal family gathers at Sandringham, the Queen’s Norfolk estate, for the festive period.

But reports have claimed that Harry and Meghan, who are currently on a six-week break from royal duties, are considering joining her mother Doria Ragland in the US to celebrate Archie's first Christmas there.

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Queen Elizabeth II talks to Prince Harry as they leave after the wedding of Lady Gabriella Windsor and Thomas Kingston at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle, near London, Britain May 18, 2019. Steve Parsons/Pool via REUTERS
While Prince Harry won't necessarily go to Sandringham for Christmas, it's not unprecedented, according to royal commentators (Picture: Steve Parsons/Pool via REUTERS)

Fellow royal commentator Victoria Murphy said while much had been made of the decision by the Sussexes not to join the family at Sandringham for Christmas, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had done the same thing twice, in 2012 and 2016.

“It’s not unprecedented - William and Kate have spent Christmas with the Middletons so we have seen this before,” she said.

“There was a sort of inevitability about the fact that, coming at the end of a year where we’ve had so many discussions of feuds, so many discussions of the issue of doing things their own way, that that narrative was then attached to their decision to not go to Sandringham at Christmas, when actually it also is a normal thing to do, there is precedent for it.”

Duncan Larcombe, former royal editor at The Sun, agreed, adding: “The Queen is not a dictator within the family and as Victoria says, it’s not unprecedented that members of the family who have got married will spend Christmas with the in-laws.”