Meghan Markle and Prince Harry skipped today’s annual royal Christmas luncheon.
It had been widely speculated that the couple would not be in attendance at the banquet, hosted in Buckingham palace each year.
Instead, the family are choosing to spend son Archie’s first Christmas abroad in an undisclosed location with Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland.
“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are looking forward to extended family time towards the end of this month,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement to PEOPLE.
“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.”
“This decision is in line with precedent set previously by other members of the Royal Family, and has the support of Her Majesty The Queen.”
The couple are currently taking extended family leave from royal duties.
Despite his brother’s absence, Prince William and wife Kate Middleton were seen arriving at the turkey luncheon with their children today.
Prince Andrew was also in attendance, following his poorly received interview on Newsnight regarding his relationship with deceased Jeffrey Epstein.