Royals

Why Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan will be spending Christmas morning apart

Royal protocol strikes again.

This may be their first Christ­mas as a mar­ried cou­ple, and their last with­out chil­dren, but the Duke and Duchess of Sus­sex won't spend the morn­ing of the 25th De­cem­ber to­gether.

Un­sur­pris­ingly, their sep­a­ra­tion on Christ­mas morn­ing is­n't the cou­ple's choice but due to royal pro­to­col. The fes­tive tra­di­tion at San­dring­ham, the Queen's Nor­folk res­i­dence where the fam­ily spend the hol­i­days, states that men and women are sep­a­rated on Christ­mas morn­ing.

The Queen's for­mer chef Dar­ren Mc­Grady re­vealed in a piece for the Mail on Sun­day that the fe­male mem­bers of the royal fam­ily eat in their bed­rooms while the male mem­bers con­gre­gate down­stairs in the din­ing room.

"On Christ­mas Day, the ladies gen­er­ally opt for a light break­fast of sliced fruit, half a grape­fruit, toast and cof­fee de­liv­ered to their rooms," Mc­Grady wrote.

"Male roy­als mean­while, come down­stairs to the din­ing room for a hearty break­fast at 8:30am with eggs, ba­con and mush­rooms, kip­pers and grilled kid­neys," he con­tin­ued.

Royal but­ler turned eti­quette ex­pert Grant Har­rold echoed this view telling Fab­u­lous: "In a lot of aris­to­cratic homes, it does still hap­pen that the men will have break­fast down­stairs while the women have break­fast in their bed­room."

"The rea­son it hap­pens is be­cause it's an old tra­di­tion that when a cou­ple are mar­ried, the gen­tle­man would come down for break­fast and the ladies would re­main up­stairs," Har­rold added.

While break­fast in bed (and a few quiet min­utes to your­self) is surely a lovely way to start the day, we can't help but feel the women get short-changed on the food front. Christ­mas is all about in­dul­gence and half a grape­fruit is­n't what we had in mind when we pic­ture a fes­tive break­fast.

In­ter­est­ingly, Har­rold ex­plained that this out­dated rule only ap­plied to mar­ried women. Hence why Duchess Meghan will spend her Christ­mas morn­ing with a fresh fruit plat­ter while Harry en­joys his full Eng­lish.

"All the ladies would have break­fast in bed apart from the sin­gle ladies. The sin­gle ladies have to be seen as 'so­cia­ble' whereas the ladies who were mar­ried did­n't have to come down and so­cialise," Har­rold con­firmed.

Via our sister site Grazia.