Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have been praised after they celebrated Christmas with their baby son Archie in Victoria, western Canada. The pair opted to spend the festive period with the Duchess of Sussexes’ mother, Doria Ragland, missing the traditional church service at the Queen’s Sandringham Estate on Christmas Day. But, both Meghan and Prince Harry have been praised for “breaking away from tradition” after their retreat.
In Canada, Bev Koffel, co-owner of a restaurant in North Saanich, on Vancouver Island, said she had seen the royal couple and met their security teams.
The Duke of Sussex has also been spotted hiking on North Hill, a local beauty spot.
Koffel said: “And they jog around. It’s kind of exciting.
“They’re breaking away from tradition and I just wish them all the best.”
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have been praised
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry spent the festive period with Meghan’s mother
The royal couple shared a message to their fans on Christmas Day on Instagram, with their post receiving thousands of likes in minutes.
Before the big day, the pair’s Christmas card was revealed, with seven-month-old baby Archie centre stage, with the royal parents in the background.
In the black-and-white card, Archie stares directly into the camera, while Meghan and Harry sit giggling in the background under their Christmas tree.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are currently on a short break from royal duties after a bombshell documentary in which the pair opened up on their struggles.
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Meghan Markle, Prince Harry and Archie’s Christmas card
Ahead of Christmas, it was announced the pair would not be spending the festive period with the Queen, but instead with Meghan’s mother.
A statement from Buckingham Palace read: “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are looking forward to extended family time towards the end of this month.
“Having spent the last two Christmases at Sandringham, [the couple] will spend the holiday this year, as a new family, with the Duchess’ mother Doria.
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Queen Elizabeth II at the annual Christmas Day service yesterday
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry did not attend the Christmas Day service in Sandringham
They’re breaking away from tradition and I just wish them all the best
“This decision is in line with precedent set previously by other members of the Royal Family, and has the support of Her Majesty The Queen.”
And on Christmas Day, the pair missed the annual church service at the Queen’s Sandringham Estate, where Prince George, 6, and Princess Charlotte, 4, made their first appearances at the event.
Princess Charlotte stole the spotlight and stunned crowds as she shared a Christmas Day cuddle with one loyal fan as the Cambridges greeted supporters after the service.
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Charlotte stood alongside her mother, Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, with the Duke of Cambridge, Prince William, and his son, Prince George, also greeting fans.
Arriving at the service on Christmas Day, the Queen wore a red coat and hat and arrived in a maroon Bentley with the Duchess of Cornwall.
The Duke of Edinburgh, 98, who was discharged from hospital on Christmas Eve, was at Sandringham but did not attend church.
Kate and Princess Charlotte greeting royal fans on Christmas Day
He had spent four nights at the King Edward VII Hospital in London to receive treatment for a “pre-existing condition”.
The Duke of York walked side by side with Charles to a private service at 9am but did not attend the 11am service.
Others attending the main morning service included Princess Beatrice and her fiance, Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, the Princess Royal and the Earl and Countess of Wessex.