Prince William, Prince Harry And Meghan Markle Are All Missing The Next Big Royal Event

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As a young generation of senior royal family members, Prince William, Kate MiddletonPrince Harry and Meghan Markle are usually expected to attend all the major events in the monarchy calendar. But next week, when Buckingham Palace plays host to a large-scale royal event, only Kate Middleton will be there out of the ‘Fab Four’. Prince William, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will all be absent from the occasion – but for different reasons.

On Tuesday 3 December, the royal family will welcome NATO leaders, their partners and delegations to a reception at Buckingham Palace to mark 70 years of the NATO alliance. The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation alliance is a military agreement between 29 North American and European countries, who will all gather together for the celebration in London next week.

The Queen will be hosting the event, along with Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall. Also on the list from the royal family is the Duchess of Cambridge, the Queen’s youngest son Edward (the Earl of Wessex), Princess Anne, and some of Queen Elizabeth’s cousins.

So what’s Prince William’s excuse? And what about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle – where will they be at?

Prince William will be otherwise engaged on a mini overseas tour when the NATO event takes place. The Duke of Cambridge will be making an official visit to Kuwait and Oman at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office between 1-4 December, meaning he is very much unavailable.

Harry and Meghan, on the other hand, aren’t on official business at the time of the NATO reception. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have taken a leave of absence of royal duties for the last six weeks of the year to enable them to spend some quality family time with their young son, Archie.

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Reports suggest the Sussexes will be dividing their time between the UK and the US during their time off, and are thought to be celebrating Thanksgiving in America with Meghan’s mum, Doria Ragland, tomorrow.

Meghan and Harry will also be skipping Christmas with the rest of the royal family at Sandringham this year. An official statement from the Palace confirmed that ‘having spent the last two Christmases at Sandringham, their royal highnesses will spend the holiday this year, as a new family, with the duchess’ mother Doria Ragland.’

It’s not known exactly where they will spend the festive season, but the break will hopefully serve as some much-needed down-time for the couple, who have had a difficult year.

There’s one more person who is notably absent from the list of royal invitees to the NATO event next Tuesday – and that’s Prince Andrew. Following a controversial TV interview with BBC reporter Emily Maitlis, in which he was quizzed about his friendship with US sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, the royal announced last week that he was stepping down from official duties.

‘It has become clear to me over the last few days that the circumstances relating to my former association with Jeffrey Epstein has become a major disruption to my family’s work and the valuable work going on in the many organisations and charities that I am proud to support.

‘Therefore, I have asked Her Majesty if I may step back from public duties for the foreseeable future, and she has given her permission,’ Andrew’s official statement read.

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