Prince Harry Drops Meghan Markle Off at the Airport Before Christmas

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Parting is such sweet sorrow.

Prince Harry personally escorted his girlfriend Meghan Markle to London’s Heathrow Airport Sunday. As five police protection officers flanked Harry, airline staff guided Meghan to her gate. The 35-year-old Suits actress, who kept warm in a 360 Cashmere sweater, is believed to be spending Christmas in the United States, while her boyfriend will stay with his family in the U.K.

Harry and Meghan have been quietly dating for several months. Just last week, the couple was photographed for the first time together in public when they saw The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at The Gielgud Theatre. A spokesperson for the play later told E! News, “We’re really delighted he came. It was a private visit. We’re just really happy he came along.”

If Harry wants to spend Christmas with Meghan, he’ll have to put a ring on it. “Traditionally, only if you’re married would you go to Sandringham,” a source says of the family estate in Norfolk where the family has a formal lunch and listens to Queen Elizabeth II‘s annual speech.

“Every year the Royal Family goes to church on Christmas morning and to Sandringham,” the source says. “Everyone goes: Prince William, Prince Harry, Prince Phillip, Princess Eugenie, Princess Beatrice, Prince Andrew, Prince Charles, the Queen.” And, of course, Kate Middleton. “When William married Kate, they decided they would take turns going to Sandringham and going to Kate’s home in Bucklebury. Once they had kids [Prince George and Princess Charlotte], it was especially important so the children can spend Christmas with their other grandparents.”

And because Meghan is not part of the royal family, the source tells E! News it would be “very much frowned upon” if she were to attend any official outings or events with Harry, let alone “be seen near Sandringham” around Christmastime. “It would look like breaking of a tradition.”

Perhaps things will be different for the couple in 2017. “Meghan and Harry are getting serious,” another insider tells E! News, adding, “Harry really wants a family like his brother William has.”

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