Wednesday, 13 November 2019

The Sussexes To Spend Christmas With Doria

For some weeks now reports have been circulating about plans for the Sussexes to spend time away from the UK toward the end of the year. This evening, Buckingham Palace confirmed the couple's plans to do just that and to spend Christmas with Meghan's mother Doria: "The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are looking forward to extended family time towards the end of the month. Having spent the last two Christmases at Sandringham."


The statement continued: "Their Royal Highnesses will spend the holiday this year, as a new family, with the duchess' mother Doria Ragland. Their decision is in line with precedent set previously by other members of the Royal family, and has the support of Her Majesty the Queen."


After viewing Tom Bradby's documentary about Harry and Meghan it was very clear they both needed some time away. This break, which is reportedly due to begin next week, may prove a tonic for the couple who have endured an excruciating time in Britain. The exact details of their plans are not known, though it is thought they will spend much of their time in the US, celebrating Thanksgiving later this month. It's easy to forget Meghan really hasn't had more than a few days in her home country since she and Harry became engaged two years ago. Being surrounded by Doria and Meghan's closest friends will give them their first opportunity to properly relax in some time. As parents, it's their first Christmas with Archie and I imagine they want to spend every moment of the day with him making happy memories.


Aside from enjoying quality time with Doria, I expect they'll catch up with a number of close friends including Benita Litt and her family. Meghan is godmother to her twin daughters (they were bridesmaids at the royal wedding).


I have no doubt they will spend time with Meghan's Northwestern friend, Genevieve Hillis, who spent the 4th of July with Harry and Meghan in Windsor. It's been suggested she's one of Archie's godparents. I could also see a trip to Canada on the cards and time spent with Jessica Mulroney's family. The Mulroney home played host to many of Harry and Meghan's 'date nights' in Toronto during the early days of their relationship.


As the press release notes, the decision is not at all unprecedented. In 2012 and 2016 the Cambridges spent the festivities with the Middleton family at Bucklebury. The Middleton family are incredibly close, and 2012 marked Kate's last Christmas before motherhood and 2016 Pippa's last before marrying James Matthews. In 2017, the Cambridges and Middletons made the walk to Sandringham before returning to Anmer Hall to spend the day with George. Zara Tindall and her family have also alternated over the years, more recently opting to spend Christmas in Australia.


I hope Harry, Meghan and Archie have a wonderful break.


Finally, on another topic entirely, we have an update on the Smart Set collection. Following the two-week campaign, Smart Works received enough clothing for their clients for an entire year. Yesterday, they dressed their 200th client in pieces from the collections.


More from Sussex Royal:

'In September, this two week campaign launched and because of YOU and your commitment to giving back to the community, over 10,000+ items were purchased. Using the 1:1 model, your contribution made a direct impact for Smart Works and the women mobilising back into the workforce.
For every item you purchased, one was donated! You made this happen, and we are so thrilled to see you step up and be part of another woman’s success story. Your active generosity will give the women of Smart Works the tools and confidence boost they so deserve, accompanied by the valuable interview prep, guidance and mentorship Smart Works provides.
Thank you for your support, and well done for being a part of this success story!'

I know a number of you purchased pieces from the set; it's very special to know the twin of each piece is supporting another woman and helping her fulfill her dreams.

49 comments:

  1. I am happy to hear that the Sussexes will be spending the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays in the U.S. with Doria and close friends. I am sure that Doria is so excited to spend more time with Archie. Now that he's grown a bit, it'll be a great chance for Archie to connect with his grandmother. Meghan and Harry will finally get some badly-needed relaxation time! Hooray!

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    1. Its nice that meghan hasn't forgotten her roots & were she came from spending the holiday season in the USA will be good for them so that harry can get to see the USA better to meghan place of birth better just hope he his a passport to get in to the USA & visa t like meghan had to do when she came to the UK to stay & I also think it would be good if harry could apply for USA citizenship so that he can come to the USA whenever he wants to

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  2. When the Cambridges decided to spend Christmas with the Middletons in 2016, I had to take a break from royal watching because I could not deal with everybody having an opinion on it. And so very, very critical. I expect this is going to be no better although one can hope. I do think it was a wise decision by the palace to confirm their plans fairly early and not have weeks of speculation.

    In most families deciding where to spend Christmas is a fine balancing act, I can see no reason why Meghan or Kate should have to spend every single Christmas with their in-laws. And I don’t think Christmas as Sandringham is especially baby friendly.
    But in hindsight the Sussexes maybe should have found a way to spend some time with HM and Prince Phillip at Balmoral over the summer. Skipping both summer and Christmas holidays in one year just feed the narrative that they are isolating themselves from the family.

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    1. "Skipping both summer and Christmas holidays in one year just feeds the narrative that they are isolating themselves from the family" IF PEOPLE FORGET that Harry and Meghan's home is at Windsor where the Queen spends many weekends. She can pop in or they can pop over anytime they want. The general public simply isn't privy to it.

      Also remember that their offices are at Buckingham Palace. It could be argued that they are so embedded in the family that significant time away is probably very good for the mental health for which they consistently advocate.

      Why would anyone expect that those who live and work on the same property as their family's business should be obligated to spend either or both summer and Christmas holidays with that same family? Any therapist would likely counsel against it.

      Let's not forget that any "narrative" being fed is largely ill-informed, thoughtless opinion which has little to do with the facts of the situation. The narrative is stick-in-a-hornets-nest stuff designed to solicit clicks which feeds the witch-hunt frenzies of invisible modern day mobs on social media.

      Thank heaven that Harry and Meghan can set their own boundaries as they tirelessly work for their very noble causes, the Monarchy and the Commonwealth.

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    2. Perhaps the Sussexes don't feel as much need to spend time with HM and Prince Philip during traditional royal holidays because the Sussexes live right at Windsor and would be able to visit them whenever the Queen and Prince Philip are at Windsor Castle, which I think happens fairly frequently. Of course, this would not guarantee them time to interact with other extended royal family members.

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    3. We have no idea how Meghan and Harry spend their truly private time. For all we know, they could be visiting regularly.

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  3. well deserved. i hope they can refuel properly. doria seems lovely. i hope she spoils Archie rotten (as is her right!) and that meghan and harry can relax a bit.

    Annie
    NY, USA

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  4. Outstanding work with Smart Works. May they enjoy their holiday with family

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  5. I'm so glad they are taking a long break as a family. They deserve it, need it, and I hope they can relax and enjoy quality time together with Doria for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I'm glad they are coming to the US. I'm sure Meghan has missed home.

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  6. For people who may not have seen it at the end of the previous comments thread pertaining to Remembrance Sunday, here's a link I posted there.

    It's support from Hillary Clinton who has personal experience with the level of vilification levelled at Meghan. I find it heartening that like the parliamentarians who stepped up with a letter, more people are speaking out.

    https://ca.hellomagazine.com/royalty/02019111253671/hillary-clinton-meghan-markle-support

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    1. Thanks, Philly, for the link. It was great to hear Hillary's words and support for Meghan (along with Chelsea).

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  7. Charlotte after reading your lovely post, I clicked on Daily Mail curious to see their "spin". "Doesn't the Queen Deserve Better" was the title to the piece about these 2 ingrates slipping off to America and abandoning the aging monarch. Honestly it is just so ugly and tiresome. To say nothing of untrue.

    Both William and Harry have been keen to keep their wives families in the picture and rightly so. I'm certain Doria is over the moon with their decision. Perhaps Harry made a bit too much of Meghan enjoying his family as "the family she's never had" and now with the Africa interview, etc., it just feeds the alienation story line.

    Happy Christmas to the Sussex family. Safe travels.

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    1. I am heart-broken to see the nasty articles on Daily Mail. I had hoped they'd toned it down a bit. I don't remember William and Kate being torn to shreds for spending Christmas with the Middletons. What gives the British public so much entitlement to judge where members of the royal family spend their Christmas? Why, oh why does it matter so much?

      R

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    2. Piers Morgan has a vile attack on them today. It’s horrible to read and totally playing to the mob. I wish I had not read it. Sinead

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    3. The Daily Mail is great for pictures but toxic for content. But it's shameful the level they're at with this story.
      Kudos to M&H, I love Charlotte's vision of their break - and a well-deserved & needed break at that.
      -op

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    4. I think it is best to look for pictures elsewhere and not to get involved with DM in any way.

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  8. Meghan is clearly SO gifted in her ability to create projects that impact women at a real, personal level. WOW - 200 clients dressed by SmartSet. WOW. The ripple effect that this will have on these women and their families is extraordinary. KUDOS MEGHAN. I hope you read this and ignore the haters.

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  9. I don’t think anyone would have cared much if the “6 week break” thing hadn’t come out. We all get it- once married the “whose family are we going to” debate gets a bit more complicated. Meghan certainly has the right to, and should, spend holidays with the only family member she seems to still have in her life (justified or not).

    But then JUST DO IT. Don’t explain. Let the press fall all over themselves. They could have easily just left next week and stayed through New Years. I don’t remember Will and Kate issuing statements when they spent Christmas with the Middletons. They just did it. And the press went wild. So what? Treasure your first Christmas with your baby.

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    1. Anon 00:53, quite long ago - at the very beginning of their relationship - they chose to have more open style of communication than some other family members. I would say more open and more personal, probably also more explaining. I think it is natural for them and more "human". It would be weird if they now stopped and became quiet.

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  10. Once I got over the shock that I would not see them Christmas Day, I was really onboard with this. :) I imagine they see the Queen and PP a lot, probably many low-key true family little visits. The Queen and PP will not be "alone" without H&M, and as an only child (myself), I know it is painful to have a parent alone, even such an amazing parent like Doria. The idea of Meghan getting to be herself for 6 weeks is glorious! (I hope it's that long.) When Kate and William were first married, I think the feeling was that they should do whatever they needed to do to avoid the Diana/Charles situation, and they did it. Royal watchers were not used to such involvement with nonroyal parents as Kate had, and we can see why that was important. H&M are not "needed" in the UK for 6 weeks and they can enjoy being with real friends and family.

    The SmartWorks outcome is incredible! And what's even better is that each of the 10,000 items can be used, being of the right size, etc.

    Still hoping for a little outing to her other two patronages.

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  11. Jessica in Los Angeles14 November 2019 at 02:43

    I happened to be on the DM website and saw the headline of this “scandal” that they would be away for the holidays. I’m glad there are people like Charlotte who present the info as the balanced news that it is. The headline should read “Married Couple Decide to Alternate Holidays with Each Family, Just Like Everyone Else”. Basically, it’s not really news.

    And it makes sense to come for an extended period of time. It’s not like Doria is close enough to just go for a weekend! Selfishly, i always love a Meghan siting, but I hope they’re able to keep some privacy away from the paps while they’re on this side of the globe.

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    1. o.k. Jessica, after reading your post, I went and bought up the DM. The front page story was how Meghan was shunning the Queen and dividing the Royals....wow. I did not click on it, but the title is crappy and aren't there more import stories to cover truthfully?

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  12. I think it is wonderful that the Sussex family is planning to spend some time with Doria, who has only one child, Meghan, and currently, only one grandchild, little Archie bean. I was just looking closely at the announcement and it says extended family time. It doesn't actually say that all of this time is spent in the U.S. One would think that for security reasons, Doria's home would not be able to accommodate the family, small though it is. Of course, it seems natural to go "home" for Thanksgiving, as millions of Americans do every year. I'm against RR's speculating as a rule, but it might be a lovely thought to think of Harry and Meghan, having made Frogmore Cottage as a sanctuary for family and friends, beginning as a family to establish some wonderful Sussex traditions. I hope that they will establish the family that they both so richly deserve and must long for.

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  13. It’s sad that BP has to validate a choice many couples make for their US Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays by saying the Queen approves. I hope they sneak over here and get some peace and quiet.

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    1. Susan, this is a very interesting point. I agree it is kind of sad they have to state that the Queen approves. However, I don´t think they could have avoided it at this point.
      Even on this blog, many would like even more - to have stated that pretty much every member of the RF approves of their decisions and supports them. I think mentioning the Queen + "precedent" of others was very well balanced, because it explicitly says that they have support (from the most important person), but it doesn´t get into unnecessary detail. Like this, it says enough, but it doesn´t seem too try-hard. If that makes sense.
      Ella

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  14. Wonderful news that the Sussexes will be spending quality time with Meghan’s Mum! Meghan is Doria’s only child & Archie, her only grandchild; Harry has previously described Doria with much fondness, so it’s wonderful they’ll all be together, surrounded by love & trust.

    Excellent news about Smart Works & the Smart Set collection. I’m very happy that I was able to purchase several items & that it also helped others. It was such a terrific idea, I’m so glad it was successful!

    Dena

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  15. Of course she’s now being ripped apart in the press for destroying the family, disappointing the Queen, etc. It is high time other members of the family come out publicly supporting the Sussexes. The longer the silence, the more I believe that it is other members of the royal family, not Harry and Meghan, who are responsible for any rifts.

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    1. They won't and honestly they don't have to. They play this game for centuries now, right through big changes in the media landscape (technical and other). When Kate was the vilian who would single handedly bring down the monarchy just a few years ago, they just let the whole press run its course. Maybe you weren't around but she and Wiliam had some pretty tough years with the press and the keyboard warriors. The tide turned at one point and if Meghan and Harry just stop caring it will for them too.
      C.

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    2. Penny, I believe they are not silent. M and H have engagements together with the family members, the Queen´s support is clearly stated in their press release. I can´t see members of the RF doing similar things as Meghan and Harry´s friends on Instagram or on TV (as Michelle Obama, Nacho Figueras etc.). While the monarchy is modernising, this IMHO is still not their style of addressing problems.

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    3. I don't expect any of the Royal Family to leap to their defense any time soon if at all. I do find it hard to compare what William and Catherine endured in the media vs what Meghan is going through. Not saying they had it easy, but unfortunately Meghan can't defend or change how she looks or where she was born. We hope the tide will turn but saying the should just "stop caring" is kind of callous.

      Sara

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    4. I agree completely Penny! The lack of public support in the last year or so from the Queen, Charles, William and Kate have me viewing them in a new light and I'm not caring for what I see. I don't expect them to make public declarations but for as much negative leaks come from the various palaces, it certainly wouldn't strain them at all to leak some positive news as well. Or Charles and Meghan could have been papped attending an art show. Or Meghan could have attended an engagement with C&C like Kate did early on in her royal career. The possibilities for the RF to show support to Harry and Meghan are endless but as we've all seen, no one has bothered to do anything. And if I put on my tinfoil tiara, I imagine that the silence is do to protecting their own respective skins. As long as various members are receiving great press, and they are, why would they want to stick their necks out against the obvious bullying and racist, misogynistic harassment their own family members are enduring?

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    5. Morning all....I rarely read press on the Royal family, but curious to know if the press in the U.K. has spent anytime talking about Andy and Epstein and underage girls.....

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    6. Anne-Sophie de Paris15 November 2019 at 19:18

      Bonsoir Lauri
      Je suis complètement d'accord avec vous mais est -ce qu'on peut comprendre une seule fois que Meghan puisse être épuisée:
      En juillet 2016 début de leur romance ,2017 annoncé de leur fiançailles, 2018 mariage suivi d'une grossesse avec une tournée de 2semaines en Océanie, visite de 4 j au Maroc au dernier trimestre de sa grossesse. Dans la même année de 2018 ,présentation du livre cookbook
      2019 naissance de Archie, baptême, sortie de Vogue, présentation de Smart Capsule.
      Tournée de 10 j en Afrique Australe sans compter que Meghan a visité toutes les associations dont elle marraine. En 18 mois de mariage elle a fait plus de choses que les autres femmes de la royauté dans le même temps.
      Elle est jeune mariée, jeune maman. Elle a toute la vie devant elle pour réaliser des actions communes avec les autres duchesses.
      Archie est le plus des babies royaux à suivre ses parents en tournée.
      De grâce tout à été si vite.on se croirait dans un tourbillon.
      Si le couple a décidé de passer noël en petit comité, je pense que la santé mentale de Meghan et même de Harry doit y être pour quelquechose.
      La famille Middelton est à côté pour venir au secours de Kate dès qu'elle en a besoin.
      Meghan n'a personne.
      Sans être fataliste ,J'espère que leur union résistera à cette pression.
      Meghan doit avoir l'impression d'être tombée dans un traquenard.
      Tout est fait pour protéger le prince Andrew pendant ce temps.
      Je les plains Harry et Meghan et leur souhaite de bonnes vacances.
      Piers Morgan s'en donne à coeur joie et les autres tabloïds aussi.

      Je pense que Baby Sussex 2 est en route d'où la vulnérabilité de Meghan.
      Les visites de la Reine et celle de Hilary doivent lui mettre du baume au coeur.
      Bon week-end à tous

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    7. jmccain, the UK media has been running stories about Andrew/Epstein for over 10 years. So much so that most of what is only been published in the US now is literally old news in the UK.
      Just in the last couple of months over 3000 articles was published in the UK media on the topic alone.

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    8. Yes, it has. And there’s an interview with Andrew on the BBC tomorrow I think about this particular topic.

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  16. Who doesn't need to go home to mama when the seas have been rough....long overdue, imo. Hope the American press aren't all over them the whole time...

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  17. It will be great for them to get away. Spending time with Doria and friends. It will do them the world of good.

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  18. I definitely think this is going to be for good for everyone involved. I think people are often expecting too much togetherness from a complex, specific family as the BRF is. We often see funny quotes on the internet about difficulties of spending holidays with your family etc. and it is not raising any eyebrows, but we want to see BRF as a perfectly harmonised machine being together 24/7, which is unreal. In the end it is just a family.

    Also as someone noted above, it is unfair to expect people to spend all holidays just with their in-laws. It is fine to divide time between the two families, especially if one of them is living across the globe.

    I wish every family in the world could just have "extended family time" when they need it. And I have to say I wish their PR was pushing less hard in terms of wording. If perhaps the Rememberance Sunday on November 10 was the last public engagement for the DoS, and they will resume their public duties in January (? is it expected? I don´t know this, I just understand it like this) it sure is not "towards the end of this month", but rather for "two months". Which is not a bad thing at all but let´s just say it as it is. On the other hand I am very glad they mentioned the precedent set by W and K or Zara and Mike.

    Ella

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    1. Their leave begins towards the end of the month because while Meghan has (most likely) completed her last engagement before the leave, Harry still has engagements.

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  19. Good for you, Harry and Meghan. It’s been recorded numerous times how over-crowded and timetabled Sandringham Christmases can be, so who can blame the Sussex family for wanting a more relaxed celebration for Archie’s first Christmas. I think all the naysayers need to remember that times have changed and many of the RF customs and traditions are outdated. It’s great to see the younger members like Kate and Meghan making sure their own families are not shut out but continue to be part of their lives, as with any other normal family. Annie, UK

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  20. Serious question: where do you know from that the Mulroney‘s home was where date nights often happened for them?

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  21. Good for them. It seems like a very wise decision. So glad they will get some time to recover and get refreshed. Oh how I would hate being in the spotlight all the time. IMO they are handling things very well.

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  22. Charlotte, I love how you mentioned that Meghan hasn't been home for more than a few days in two years. It broadened my perspective that although she chose this life and everything seems glam she is likely somewhat homesick and missing her dear mom. There's no place like home truly. Princess Mary and Queen Maxima have gone home for longer visits from time to time. I'm glad she is too.

    Nina

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  23. Great report re Smart Works and the collection. Awesome!! Thanks, Charlotte for the updates. Where-ever the Sussexes spend their holidays, I hope they’re happy.

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  24. I'm sure there will be sightings in the US of them. I think they will be treated much nicer here in US. Of course, there are always nasty individuals. A whole lot of us love them. People will be so excited to see them! I personally cant wait!!

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  25. Meghan's project with Smart Works is fantastic and so beneficial to women trying to get back on their feet, what a shame the tabloids are too busy criticising every little thing to take note of this achievement. Meghan came to the UK to start a new life with the man she loves and continue the charity work and activism she has done since childhood. She came with all the positivity and enthusiasm that characterises the American can-do attitude and has endured little but relentless criticism and downright bullying. Honestly, it makes me ashamed of how she has been treated in this country and I wouldn't blame them one bit for relocating to a new country.

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  26. I remember Kate and William being attacked for time spent with the Middletons, at holidays and after George was born; it was just as cruel and ridiculous as the criticism of Harry and Meghan. Her mother lives 6000 miles away. What do people expect? Grandma Doria must be longing for time with her grandson without having to deal with the ritual and formality of the Queen's Christmas. Delighted they can be here for Thanksgiving and Archie's first Christmas. Happy news, and the horrible Daily Mail be damned.

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    1. I just feel sorry for Doria if the reports are right that she is coming to the U.K. I’ve just got back from two weeks in Paris to the West Coast and the jet lag is brutal!

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  27. For goodness sakes, the vast majority of married couples face this decision every year. I don't know how much relaxing they will be able to do at Doria's, can you imagine the security nightmare that must be...let alone the press intrusion. Given her Majesty's advanced age it would have been nice to fly Doria over to share Christmas with the Windsors and then everyone else mentioned after Christmas to ring in the New Year at Frogmore. Choices, choices, it must be maddening. I hope they have some privacy and time to recharge. It seems to me Meghan needs to decide if she is all in or not (I'm sure she has decided she's in). Screw the Brittish press, these two need better media advisors/handlers. There is always going to be a "certain" portion of the population that will see Meghan as "an outsider" just because she is an American. You can't please everyone,(pleasing HM is paramount ;D) pleasing yourself first is the biggest hurtle. I think this is where they are at and trying hard to blaze the trail for the future. The public will either be in or not, you can't control everyone and everything, don't lose any sleep over it.

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