"The King will do what he can to carry on that tradition, as it has been what he’s used to while growing up," former royal butler Grant Harrold told an outlet.
"Whether Harry and Meghan will be involved, we don’t know. I would like to think they would be there, especially at Christmas. If they aren’t invited, it doesn’t look good on Charles. But if they decide not to go, that’s on them. But it would be a bad thing either way. It’s a big statement to make," he continued.
Speculation that the King would ask his Montecito, Calif., family members to join the rest of the royals at Sandringham House has been growing ever since he spoke with them on his 75th birthday. The monarch also reportedly got to speak with his estranged grandchildren, Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet Diana, on that day.
Christmas at Sandringham has long been a tradition in the monarchy, since the late Queen moved her court from Windsor Castle to the country house in Norfolk in the 1980s. Meeting and greeting members of the public as the royal family walks to and from St Mary Magdalene Church on the estate was also maintained by the new King last year.
Unlike last year and years before, some unexpected family members are likely to be invited to spend the holiday season with the King. Queen Camilla's children and grandchildren have been reported to be in attendance at Sandringham this Christmas. The monarch will also break with one of his mother's customs by hosting lunch on December 25 in the estate's grand ballroom and not its dining room, as the late Queen preferred.
Sarah Ferguson, the ex-wife of Prince Andrew, is also rumored to have received an invitation to attend from Charles III. It is speculated this would be her first Sandringham Christmas since the early 1990s, if reports are to be believed.
But all eyes will likely be on the lookout for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, which will undoubtedly become one of the biggest stories of the day if they show up. Harry and Meghan have not spent a Christmas with the royals since 2018, despite being invited sporadically ever since. With all of these recent changes and a report suggesting that staff has had to move into smaller quarters to accommodate extra guests — anything is possible.
GBN reported on Harrold's comments.