Last week, King Charles celebrated his 75th birthday in the company of friends, family, and a slew of aristocratic well-wishers.
Of course, much was made of the fact that only one of the monarch’s two sons was on hand for the occasion.
However, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle did call Charles on the phone and wish him a happy birthday, and insiders say the king happily chatted with his son, daughter-in-law, and grandchildren for several minutes.
It was a surprising development, and many hoped it would mark the end of the long-simmering feud between the Sussexes and the rest of the royal family.
But while the phone call might’ve marked the beginning of peace talks, it seems that the two parties still have a lot of work to do before they can officially declare a truce.
According to a new report from UK newspaper the Sunday Times (via The Daily Beast), Harry and Meghan have not been invited to spend Christmas with Charles and family at Sandringham House.
And it does not appear that any such invitation is forthcoming.
One insider tells the outlet that Meghan and Harry would likely accept such an invitation amid the recent easing of tensions.
And that makes the snub all the more painful.
“I can’t imagine the Sussexes would decline an invitation to spend time with His Majesty,” says the source.
“As of yet, there have not been any invitations for the holidays.”
Now, if you were raised in a particularly sarcastic family, your parents might have once said something to you along the lines of “What, you need a formal invitation to spend Christmas with us?”
The question is usually asked rhetorically, but in Harry and Meghan’s case, it would be answered with an unironic “yes!”
As you may recall, earlier this year, Charles evicted the Sussexes from Frogmore Cottage, which had served as their home base during visits to the UK.
Harry and Meghan also clashed with the king over matters of security, as Charles decided that UK taxpayers would no longer foot the bill for the couple’s personal protection on their trips to Harry’s home country.
Further complicating the issue is the fact that Buckingham Palace has refused to allow Harry to compensate royal security staff out of his own pocket.
According to the Sunday Times source, “Without security or a place to stay in the UK, they now need a ‘formal invitation’ from the king or Buckingham Palace to be able to stay on ‘protected property’ that has adequate security for the whole family.”
And apparently, the king is inflexible on this issue and has made it quite clear that
Royal aides told the paper that “temporary accommodation for Harry on the royal estate, which is covered by heightened protection, is likely to be made available for him, when feasible, if requested for any short visits.”
Sadly, it seems unlikely that these issues will be sorted out ahead of the holiday season.
As the Times source points out, Charles has never spent a Christmas with Archie and Lili, “nor, it is thought, any significant time with them. It is understood there is deep sadness on both sides of the Atlantic at this status quo.”
And it looks as though that will remain true for the foreseeable future.