By KATIE KINDELAN, ABC News
(NEW YORK) — Prince Harry and Meghan, Duke and Duchess of Sussex, are no longer senior members of Britain’s royal family, but they are still partaking in a royal holiday tradition, a Christmas card.
The Sussexes released their 2020 family card, an illustration of a photo of the couple, their nearly 20-month-old son, Archie, and their dogs at home in California.
“The original photo of the family was taken at their home earlier this month by The Duchess’s mother,” a spokesperson for the family said in a statement. “The small Christmas tree, including the homemade ornaments and other decorations, were selected by Archie, and the tree will be replanted after the holidays.”
The card was shared by Mayhew, the U.K. animal welfare charity where Meghan is a patron.
We’re thrilled to receive wonderful Christmas wishes from our Patron, The Duchess of Sussex, who also made a personal donation, helping dogs, cats and our community. 💜 From all of us at Mayhew, thank you and Merry Christmas. 🎄🐶🐱
Find out more! 👉 https://t.co/5o2RHLveRM pic.twitter.com/uBV19F6Odt
— Mayhew 🐶🐱 (@themayhew) December 23, 2020
According to Mayhew, the duchess has made a personal donation to the charity and shared a special message for Christmas.
“This year we, as a family, have made donations to several charities with you in mind,” the duchess wrote. “From a local California organisation that helps families transition out of homelessness, to two of our U.K. patronages: one that supports animal and community welfare, and the other, a memorial fund for a cherished friend that helps to educate children and fight poverty in Uganda, we have honoured their work on behalf of all of us.”
Last year, for their first Christmas as a family of three, the card featured Archie, who was then just 7 months old, front and center.
Archie, Harry and Meghan are expected to spend the Christmas holiday in California, where they have lived since last year.
The Sussexes will be missing Christmas with members of the royal family for the second year in a row. Last year, the family of three skipped the royals’ Christmas at Queen Elizabeth’s Sandringham estate in Norfolk, England, and instead spent Christmas together in Canada with Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland.
For the first time in decades, the royal family is not planning to gather in-person this year for Christmas due to stay-at-home COVID-19 restrictions in place in the U.K.
Harry’s brother, Prince William, and his family plan to celebrate Christmas at their Anmer Hall country home in Norfolk, while Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip plan to stay at Windsor Castle for the holiday. Harry’s father, Prince Charles, and his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, have not publicly announced their Christmas plans.
Harry’s family, and the rest of the world, will be able to ring in the holidays with him and Meghan this year through a holiday podcast special that was announced earlier this month.
The special will be hosted by the couple and will feature, “stories of hope and compassion from inspirational guests in celebration of the new year,” according to Spotify, the audio company with whom Harry and Meghan have signed a multi-year partnership.
The air date for the Sussexes’ holiday special has not yet been announced.
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