Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been urged by Royal family members to return from abroad to spend Christmas in the UK, as Prince Philip spends a fourth night in hospital.
The couple have missed the Queen's pre-Christmas lunch at Buckingham Palace and they will not be present for the traditional royal family gathering at the monarch's private Sandringham estate on Christmas Day.
Meghan Markle, Prince Harry and Baby Archie wish everyone a Merry Christmas in the cutest Christmas card ever ❤️???? pic.twitter.com/P6YCbxrJ5C— The Nikki Diaries (@thenikkidiaries) December 23, 2019
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex flew with their eight-month-old son to Canada last month, but some royals have insisted the couple should break their six-week long visit, as reported by The Sun.
It comes after a family Christmas card of the royal couple smiling sat in front of a Christmas tree, with Archie's adorable face staring down the camera lens, was revealed.
A source told the newspaper: 'Even before the Duke became ill, many were at a loss as to why Harry and Meghan would miss what could be one of the last family Christmases with the Queen and Philip.
'They are absolutely entitled to a proper break and privacy, but they've had six weeks off.
'What about some lovely family photos and memories with baby Archie?
'Many of the family were very keen to see him over Christmas, but were told they couldn't as they were abroad.
'There is a feeling they are being inconsiderate and selfish, given the Queen and Philip's advancing age.'
The source added the royal couple are thought to be in Canada to take in everything that has happened this year, and see if they still want to be working royals.
The duchess, a former actress, lived and worked in Toronto during her time starring in the popular US drama Suits, and the couple were famously pictured together when Meghan joined her then-boyfriend Harry at the 2017 Invictus Games in the Canadian city.
Buckingham Palace had previously announced the Sussexes intended to take a six-week break from duties and would not spend Christmas at Sandringham with the Royal Family.
In a November statement, an official said: 'The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are looking forward to extended family time towards the end of this month. 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.
'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.'
Palace sources said at the time it was likely that they would be spending time in the US.
But the Mail understands the family later decided to stay in Canada and will remain there until the New Year.
The Queen is said to be supportive of the Sussexes' plans and it follows the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's past decision to spend Christmas with Kate's parents and not with the Queen.
The Duke of Edinburgh, 98, has been in hospital since Friday morning and was admitted after a period of poor health, battling a 'flu-like' illness for weeks and suffering a 'bad fall'.
He was flown from the Queen's Sandringham Estate in Norfolk to the King Edward VII Hospital in Marylebone, London amid growing concern for his health.
Speaking about his father to reporters as he visited the flood-hit village of Fishlake this afternoon, Prince Charles said: 'He's being looked after very well in hospital. At the moment that's all we know.'
It comes as the Queen is expected to reflect on the 'bumpy' year endured by both the Royal Family and the nation in her Christmas broadcast tomorrow.
Addressing a turbulent 12 months in which Prince Andrew was forced to step down from public duties, she will say 'small steps' can overcome difficulties and division.
Her annual broadcast will be directed mainly at national issues in a year dominated by Brexit and a general election.
But royal sources said it would also cover problems in her own family.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's family Christmas card shows the couple grinning as adorable baby Archie stares down the camera lens.
The enchanting family photo shows the Duke and Duchess of Sussex laughing as they pose in front of a Christmas tree, with Archie's cute face popping up in the foreground of the image.
The festive black and white card was shared on social media by the Queen's Commonwealth Trust on Monday night and says: 'Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from our family to yours.'
At the bottom is says 'this year we have chosen to send our holiday card electronically.'
In a tweet the Trust said: 'Just sharing the sweetest Christmas Card from our President and Vice-President, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Very Merry Christmas, everyone!'
It is understood that copies of the image, taken by the couple's friend Janina Gavankar, were emailed to friends and staff on Monday and hard copies sent to family.
© Associated Newspapers Ltd.