Harry's REGRETS
WOMAN - UK|December 06, 2021
The Duke of Sussex is isolated and haunted by the family rift that would have broken Diana’s heart, writes royal expert Duncan Larcombe
Duncan Larcombe

Prince Harry, I believe, never did enjoy Christmas at Sandringham. Just like his mother, he would often be the last to arrive and the first to wave Norfolk goodbye when the guns from the Boxing Day shoot were safely back in their cabinets.

But as the Queen prepares to surround herself with family once again, there is a particular reason why Prince Harry may be the royal left lonely this Christmas.

When he and William were young, there was at least one thing they looked forward to when the family converged at Prince Philip’s favourite royal residence.

It was at Sandringham where they’d spend many happy hours with their grandfather, learning to shoot and exploring the countryside.

In many ways these precious memories helped forge both William and Harry’s love of the great outdoors.

The first Christmas without the Duke of Edinburgh will be tough for Her Majesty but she will at least be comforted by the laughter and excitement of having three generations of her family by her side.

Out in the cold

Meanwhile, more than 6,000 miles away, Harry, Meghan and their two children will remain in self-imposed exile in the splendour of their California mansion.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have had an incredible year in many ways. Tens of millions more in the bank, his-and-her book deals, high-profile appearances at awards ceremonies and, of course, the bombshell ‘interview of the year’ with Oprah Winfrey.

Next year, Harry’s full and frank autobiography is due to hit the shelves and Meghan seems set to continue to build her profile in the hierarchy of American politics.

Far from fading away and taking a step back from the bind of being a working royal, Harry and Meghan appear to be on a mission to form their own breakaway institution.

Their ‘official’ visit to New York in September was on the surface a royal tour in everything but name. As the pair bowed their heads for the cameras at Ground Zero then rode a motorcade through Manhattan to their next engagement, it looked for a minute as though Megxit had all been a bad dream.

A couple who’d turned their backs on royal work, were back pressing the flesh like the ‘bad old days’.

When Harry finally hits the pillow exhausted from a Christmas Day on daddy duty, surely his mind will be taken back to those childhood Christmases with his brother and grandfather.

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