The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will not spend Christmas with the Queen and the rest of the Royal Family this year.

They will instead spent the festive season with Meghan's mother, Doria Ragland.

Buckingham Palace will not say if the couple will be in California, where Ms Ragland lives, but they are taking what has been called "extended family time" at the end of this month.

A spokesperson for Buckingham Palace said: "Having spent the last two Christmases at Sandringham, Their Royal Highnesses will spend the holiday this year, as a new family, with the Duchess’s mother Doria Ragland."

The Sussexes will spend Christmas with Meghan's mum. Credit: PA

It is tradition for the Royal Family to gather together at Sandringham at Christmas time.

They all go to St Mary Magdalene church on the estate on Christmas morning and spend the afternoon eating a traditional Christmas dinner.

The Duke and Duchess's office has been quick to point out that this year's plan for Harry and Meghan "has the support of Her Majesty The Queen".

Harry and Meghan will take a break from Royal duties from the end of November. Credit: PA

The extended break Harry and Meghan will take was originally confirmed after the ITV documentary in which the couple spoke of their struggles with royal life.

  • Meghan speaks to ITV News at Ten Presenter Tom Bradby about the struggles she has faced from some of the UK media

In the programme, Harry also confirmed his relationship with his brother Prince William had been going through a rough patch.

  • Harry speaks to ITV News at Ten Presenter Tom Bradby about his relationship with his brother

Meghan joined the Royal Family on the Norfolk estate on the Christmas before her marriage to Prince Harry - which was seen as a nod of approval from the Queen.

The Monarch travels to Sandringham a few days before Christmas and stays there until the anniversary of her father's death.

King George VI died at Sandringham House on February 6, 1952, while the Queen was in Kenya with Prince Philip.

This will be the first Christmas for Harry and Meghan's son Archie - who was born in May.

Harry and Meghan joining the royals on their way to the Christmas Day morning church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk in 2017 Credit: PA