Prince Harry starts solo holiday season as girlfriend Meghan Markle leaves London

By Sharnaz Shahid

Prince Harry won't be spending Christmas with his lady love this year. While girlfriend Meghan Markle returns back across the pond, the 32-year-old will join the Queen at Sandringham House.

The Suits actress, who has been dating the royal since the summer, was pictured arriving at London's Heathrow airport on Sunday evening (Dec. 18). It's been reported that the prince personally dropped her off before she embarked on her flight back home for Christmas with her family.

TAP TO VIEW GALLERYA photograph of Prince Harry in a suitPrince Harry will not be celebrating Christmas with girlfriend Meghan Markle

The fifth-in-line will join other senior royals at the Queen's country estate in Norfolk, while the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will head to Berkshire with their children Prince George and Princess Charlotte to spend quality time with Kate's parents Carole and Michael Middleton. "The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children will have a private Christmas day with the Middleton family," sources recently told Hello!.

A TIMELINE OF MEGHAN AND HARRY'S ROMANCE

Harry and Meghan made their public debut as a couple on Wednesday evening. The lovebirds were spotted enjoying an evening in the West End, where they watched The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time at the iconic Gielgud Theatre in the British capital. A day later, Harry and Meghan, 35, went shopping for a Christmas tree together at Pines and Needles in Battersea Park, where they selected a modest six-foot Nordmann's fir.

A photograph of Meghan MarkleThe couple started dating over the summer

Sam Lyle, owner of Pines and Needles, told Hello! Online: "We have looked after some of Britain's highest profile names for nearly 20 years but you could have heard a pin drop – or a needle – when Prince Harry and Meghan walked into the store.

The couple first secretly started dating over the summer after meeting through mutual friends. Towards the end of November, Harry made the rare move to issue a statement, asking the media and members of the public to respect the privacy of his girlfriend. In the lengthy post, the prince acknowledged that there is "significant curiosity about his private life" but appealed to fair-minded people to respect Meghan's privacy.

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