They’ve been heavily criticized for a number of things this year, but most recently Prince Harry and Meghan Markle found themselves in hot water when they revealed they wouldn’t be spending Christmas at Sandringham with the Queen.
Though other members of the royal family have skipped the festivities before, including Prince William and Kate Middleton, it was seen as bad timing considering the poor health of Prince Philip and the divide that seems to have sprung up between Harry and his brother.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are reported to have spent the Christmas holidays at a $14.1 million dollar mansion on Vancouver Island. This was confirmed by the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The eight-bedroom property is on the waterfront and has stunning views. Locals claimed to have seen fences, cameras, and extra security being erected around the property on December 19.
The Mirror reported that the couple have been staying there for the last couple weeks, and will be staying until Friday.
The Sussexes have recently been on a 6-week break from royal duties in order to have some family time, and be away from the public after feeling “bruised” this year.
They’ve received widespread criticism for taking private jets despite touting the importance of protecting the climate, and for appearing out of touch.
Their interviews in Meghan and Harry: An African Journey showed a couple who seemed exhausted from all the scrutiny, however, the timing was terrible considering they were talking about their struggles in one of the poorest places in the world.
It appears The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will stay at their Canadian hideaway for the New Year as well.
A spokesperson for the royal couple said, “The decision to base themselves in Canada reflects the importance of this Commonwealth country to them both. Whilst this emails confirms the country they are taking their family time in, for security reasons we will not be releasing any further details and request that their privacy is respected.”
They continued, “The Duke of Sussex has been a frequent visitor to Canada over many years, and it was also home to The Duchess for seven years before she became a member of the Royal Family.”
Though they were heavily criticized for spending Christmas away from Sandringham, however New Years is not seen as a big deal.
Most extended members of the royal family do not stay with the Queen over New Years and generally choose to have their own parties at home, or travel to exotic vacation destinations to celebrate.
In the past, Prince Harry traveled to some party locations, however, now that he is a married father of one, it appears the Duke has put up his party hat, content to celebrate New Years with his new family.