The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are planning to take an extended break from royal duties over the upcoming festive season, it has been revealed, with the couple and five-month-old Archie splitting their time between the UK and the US.
According to a royal source who spoke to People, the royal couple are planning to spend Thanksgiving with Meghan's family and friends in the US, before returning to the UK to spend Christmas with the royal family at Sandringham.
"The Duke and Duchess have a full schedule of engagements and commitments until mid-November," the source revealed.
"After which they will be taking some much-needed family time."
The news that Harry and Meghan will be taking a much-needed break follows the couple's heartbreaking confessions during snippets released from a new documentary of their recent tour of southern Africa, Harry & Meghan: An African Journey.
Opening up to presenter Tom Bradby in the ITV documentary, Meghan spoke of how the pressure and constant media scrutiny has affected her, admitting that behind-the-scenes she was struggling.
"Any woman, especially when they're pregnant, you're really vulnerable. So, that was made really challenging," Meghan told Bradby in the rare interview.
"And, then when you have a newborn, and especially as a woman, it's a lot. So, you add this on top of just trying to be a new mum or trying to be a newlywed…"
Meghan also thanked Bradby for asking her how she was doing, saying: "Thank you for asking, because not many people have asked if I'm okay," she heartbreakingly shared.
"It's a very real thing to be going through behind the scenes."
When asked if it would be fair to say that her life as part of the royal family has "really been a struggle" Meghan, taking a moment to seemingly compose herself after being overcome with emotion replied simply, "Yes".
Following the release of the clip, royal fans instantly rallied behind the new mum, sharing their support for the Duchess – the hashtag #WeLoveYouMeghan quickly began trending on Twitter shortly after the clip's release, with people sharing an outpouring of love.
Prince Harry also opened up to Bradby, revealing the media's presence was, unfortunately, a constant reminder of his mother Princess Diana's tragic death in a car accident in 1997, which Harry believes was at the hands of the press.
Speaking to Bradby, Harry said the death of his mother was "still a wound that festers" and that every time he hears the click of a camera or sees the flash, it takes him straight back to one of the hardest times of his life.
"In that respect, it's the worst reminder of her life as opposed to the best," he said.
"Being here now, 22 years later, trying to finish what she started will be incredibly emotional, but everything I do reminds me of her," he said of his tour of southern Africa.
"But as I said, with the role, with the job and the sort of the pressure that comes with that, I get reminded of the bad stuff, unfortunately."
WATCH: Prince Harry opens up about how the press is the 'worst reminder' of his mother's life. Story continues below...
The couple's confessions come after months and months of media scrutiny and criticism, with the couple accused of being disingenuous, entitled and hypocritical and with Meghan being subjected to constant media vitriol including racism, classism and being painted as the perpetrator of a tabloid-created 'feud' between her and her sister-in-law Duchess Catherine.
Despite the devastating hardships behind the scenes, the couple has stayed dedicated to their charity work and passion for helping those who are need.
Harry and Meghan wrapped up their 10-day tour of South Africa, Botswana, Angola and Malawi at the beginning of the month, a tour which Meghan described as emotional, poignant and spiritual, during her final speech of the tour at a reception in Johannesburg.
"Over the past 10 days our family has had emotional moments, we've had poignant moments, we've had spiritual moments; we've met inspirational leaders in every walk of life, and we've been treated to incredible food, music, and dancing. But above all, we have been able to meet people that are the rocks behind the sort of work that really means so much to us," she told the guests at Johannesburg's High Commission.
"It has been affirming to learn that we're not alone in the things that we believe in, and the principles we hold so dear. No matter how different our lives may seem, Africa, you have made us feel part of your community, of our shared community."
Meghan also spoke of how inspired she felt after meeting and talking to everyone, saying it had been a life-changing experience.
"From students to politicians, from apartheid campaigners of the '50s to teenagers on a beach, from the mothers with HIV providing health care to their community, and to the entrepreneurs who are driving the business of the future – they all showed me a power and solidarity that, in this moment, in this time, all women, and all people, can take strength and inspiration from," she said.
"Because these amazing African women have discovered self-belief and found their worth."
Harry and Megan: An African Journey airs Monday 28 October, 7pm on TVNZ 1.
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