Festive fun at Sandringham kicks off with a Christmas Eve soccer match between staff – with Harry and William taking part.
Then comes afternoon tea, prezzies at 6pm and formal dinner at 8pm. Christmas morning brings two church services. And after a turkey lunch the family watch the Queen’s Christmas message on TV.
Board games follow and a festive film is shown later in the Sandringham ballroom. Boxing Day brings the big pheasant shoot.
Harry missing the shoot will show how much influence Meghan has and it could certainly add to tensions between him and William.
They have always loved the shoot together and although they both campaign to save wildlife, they have been told by Prince Philip and Prince Charles all their lives that shoots on the royal estates are essential to keep numbers down and manage them properly.
But clearly his wife comes first and he doesn’t want to upset her. Changing Harry won’t necessarily be seen as for the better if he starts to duck out of too many traditions.
By all accounts Meghan is having quite an impact on how he sees the world and many issues. To me she is the stronger partner and missing the shoot is another example of how she is getting her way.
If they only turn up late on Christmas Eve and leave early on Boxing Day morning their stay will be just a day-and-a-half.
And it will be fascinating to see the body language between them all at church on Christmas Day.
If there are real problems they will be difficult to hide.
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