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Royal family spends Christmas apart as tumultuous year comes to end

New stories recommend Prince Harry and Meghan Markle wish to lengthen their “royal exit,” which comes up for assessment subsequent yr, by one other 12 months.

Their present association noticed them step again as senior royals in March and transfer to California, because the coronavirus pandemic compelled the whole royal household to stay aside this Christmas, CBS Information’ Charlie D’Agata stories.

Queen Elizabeth spent the vacation in Windsor Citadel for the primary time in 32 years, the place she praised the spirit of these challenged by the coronavirus. 

In her speech, which marked the celebration with a tinge of disappointment, the queen acknowledged, “some mourning the lack of these expensive to them, and others lacking family and friends members distanced for security, when all they’d actually need for Christmas is a straightforward hug or a squeeze of the hand.”

Like many world wide — and lots of great-grandmothers — Queen Elizabeth needed to forgo annual festive household gatherings. 

Except for a socially-distanced carol service on the grounds of Windsor Citadel earlier in December, the 94-year-old monarch and her 99-year-old husband Philip are spending a “quiet” Christmas alone on the citadel.

Earlier than the pandemic hit, one other bombshell rocked the royal household of Britain — her youthful grandson, Prince Harry, and his spouse Meghan Markle “stepping again” from royal duties. 

In keeping with Roya Nikkhah, royal correspondent for The Sunday Instances, Harry’s absence has been felt through the significantly tumultuous yr. 

“I believe folks miss him and other people really feel unhappy that he wasn’t right here with the remainder of the royal household throughout coronavirus,” Nikkhah mentioned, including “he is bought that freedom that he and Meghan so desperately needed.”

The couple rapidly dove into charity work, targeted on these impacted by COVID-19.

Their very own household has been hit as properly — Harry’s father Prince Charles examined optimistic in March and his brother Prince William later admitted he caught it at across the identical time.

“The queen would have been extraordinarily apprehensive, her subsequent two direct heirs had been each stricken down with COVID,” Nikkhah mentioned. 

Nonetheless, it didn’t cease William and Kate from becoming a member of the battle towards the illness the place they might, even taking a royal practice tour to help well being care employees. The queen, for her half, additionally jumped in on Zoom calls to well being care employees.

Having Harry round would have boosted morale, and his absence was felt most throughout Remembrance Day — the previous soldier had needed to participate however was neglected.

The remainder of the royal household are additionally mentioned to be sad in regards to the profitable offers he and Meghan have struck with Netflix, and an upcoming podcast on Spotify.

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