The Duchess of Sussex has lodged an application to postpone the date of the full trial in the case she has brought against Associated Newspapers, due to begin in January.
A remote hearing will be held on Thursday 29 October to discuss the application.
A trial date has been provisionally set for 11 January 2021 and if the Duchess were to attend in-person, she would have to fly to the UK before New Year in order to self-isolate for two weeks upon arrival under the current travel restrictions.
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However, if the trial is postponed, it could suggest that Meghan and her husband Prince Harry will be spending Christmas in the US this year. The Sussexes spent Thanksgiving and the festive period in Canada in 2019.
It comes after reports that the Queen has cancelled plans to attend the annual Christmas Day church service in Sandringham.
However, HELLO! understands that it is too early for Buckingham Palace to confirm the royal family’s plans and a decision will be made closer to Christmas in line with the appropriate advice at the time.
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Finding Freedom was published in August
Meghan, 39, is suing Associated Newspapers (ANL), publisher of the Mail on Sunday and MailOnline, over articles from February 2019, which featured parts of a “private and confidential” letter from the Duchess to her estranged father, Thomas Markle, in August 2018.
It comes after a judge ruled in September that the Mail on Sunday can rely on a recent royal biography in its defence to Meghan’s privacy claim.
Lawyers for the Duchess denied she “collaborated” with authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand for their royal biography Finding Freedom, and argued that references in the book, published in August, were simply “extracts from the letter lifted from the defendant’s own articles”.
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