The Daily Telegraph

Sussexes ‘would accept’ invitation to Sandringha­m

Duke and Duchess are said to be keen to build on rapprochem­ent with King with a Christmas visit

- By Patrick Sawer Senior news reporter to

THE Duke and Duchess of Sussex would be “happy to accept” an invitation to spend Christmas with the Royal family at Sandringha­m, it has been reported.

Sources close to the couple say that no arrangemen­ts have been made so far, but that it was highly unlikely they would decline any invitation to spend the festive season with the King.

The Daily Telegraph revealed that the Duke rang the King last week to offer him best wishes for his 75th birthday. After a lengthy spell during which the two have barely spoken, the chat is understood to have marked a notable shift in tone.

The King also spoke on the phone to the Duchess of Sussex. Prince Archie, four, and Princess Lilibet, two, are understood to have recorded a video of themselves singing Happy Birthday to their grandfathe­r.

Friends of the Sussexes say the couple are keen to follow up this rapprochem­ent with a visit to Sandringha­m, the King’s Norfolk home, at Christmas, or to Balmoral in the summer.

A friend told The Sunday Times: “I can’t imagine the Sussexes would decline an invitation to spend time with His Majesty. As of yet, there have not been any invitation­s for the holidays.”

An invitation would come at the end of a year which has seen the Sussexes give a series of interviews in which they made a number of damaging accusation­s against the Royal family.

Earlier this year, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were asked to “vacate” their British home, Frogmore Cottage, just weeks after the Duke’s memoir Spare was published.

Reports at the time claimed the move was sanctioned by the King and the decision removed their remaining foothold in the UK and further weakened ties with the Royal family.

Sources close to the Sussexes point out that without security cover or a place to stay in Britain, they would now require a formal invitation from the King or Buckingham Palace to stay on “protected property”.

The Duke and Duchess last spent Christmas at Sandringha­m in 2018, when their walk to church on Christmas Day with the now Prince and Princess of Wales led to the couples being nicknamed “the fab four”.

The Sussexes’ children have seen little of their cousins Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, eight, and Prince Louis, five, though the couples are known to have exchanged presents for each other’s children last year.

But friends of the Sussexes are understood to have grown aware that the leaking of details of their birthday call to the King could undermine attempts to bridge the divide with the Royal family.

In the wake of the publicatio­n of the Duke’s memoir, one source close to the couple said: “They realise they’ve got to a place where private conversion­s and calls could be questioned if they’re going to be private.”

Following the publicatio­n of details about the birthday call a royal insider told the Telegraph: “The King and Queen worry that if stories about phone calls and private conversati­ons make it into the public domain they will be accused of leaking to the press, even if it’s obvious it didn’t come from them.

“They just think ‘it’s in the public domain, and public domain equals bad’.”

Buckingham Palace declined comment.

‘The King and Queen worry about if stories about private conversati­ons make it into the public domain’

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