The real reason Kate Middleton's family has never been invited to The Queen's Christmas

In 2018, Kate Middleton and Prince William plan to break family tradition by spending the holidays with the royal family amidst rumors of an icy falling out with Meghan Markle. According to Elle, the couple typically switches annually between spending Christmas with Middleton's family at Bucklebury Manor and joining in on the royal festivities in Sandringham. In 2017, they spent the holiday in Sandringham, and, in 2018, they were due to go to Buckleberry Manor. But this time around, there's controversy in the castle — or rather, Kensington Palace — which is something the royals fiercely try to avoid.

Middleton, Markle, William, and Harry all live in Kensington Palace with a number of other royals, but Markle and Harry recently announced their plans to jump ship, according to the Daily Mail. Despite the fact that royal sources denied a rift as the reason for the couple's move, once the rumor mill starts rolling down the pristine English countryside, it's pretty hard to stop. In a move of solidarity, Middleton reportedly opted to stick it to the tabloids and spend the holidays with her sister-in-law.

In 2018, the royal Christmas is set to include Markle's mom, Doria Ragland, which is a massive break from royal tradition. So, why aren't the Middletons coming, too? Apparently, having your Christmas pudding and eating it too isn't so easy when you're royalty.

There's only a seat for one commoner at dinner

Kate Middleton married Prince William and received her royal title in 2011, which is just far enough in the past to make us to forget that the duchess' family lineage was pretty controversial. According to The Mirrorroyals marrying commoners has been "traditionally and famously frowned upon" for centuries, and the stigma still exists.

The Duchess of Cambridge is hardly a pauper. According to The Washington Post, her family runs a party supply business and had no issue throwing down the $32,000-a-year tuition for her prestigious boarding school education. That didn't stop her commoner status from being splashed across the biggest news outlets in the UK — from The Telegraph to BBC – in the months leading up to her wedding. Legendary royal reporter James Whitaker even wrote (via The Washington Post), "I'm not against the middle class as such, but I do query whether she has the background and breeding to be queen one day." Markle received similar treatment, yet Markle's mom got the Christmas invite. So, what gives?

According to Express, the Queen broke "royal protocol" by inviting Markle's mom to their traditional festivities. Middleton wasn't afforded the same rule-bending luxuries likely because she already has a supportive family residing in the U.K. Ragland, however, is the sole member of Markle's immediate family who isn't estranged from the former actress.

Pippa's partying days haunt her

According to Harper's Bazaar, the royal family has a strict code of conduct — one that probably doesn't welcome hard-partying to the Christmas festivities. Pippa Middleton may have settled down in 2017, but, at one point, she suffered from quite the wild reputation. In 2016, Kate's sister inadvertently found herself in a nude photo scandal when hackers stole thousands of photos from her iCloud account and attempted to pawn them off to British tabloid The Sun. Among them was a nude photo of her then-fiancé James Matthews. Though a private nude photo is definitely a no-no for the royals, Pippa's 2012 Paris partying spree likely remains her biggest indiscretion.

According to the Daily Mail, Pippa was scolded after "being seen out with four different men" while partying around Paris. Even worse, the royal sister-in-law was investigated by police following a gun-related incident. So, what happened? According to Us Weekly, Pippa was trailed by a paparazzo while driving through the French capital with three male friends. One of the men, Romain Rabillard, jokingly pointed a gun at the photographers. As it turned out, the gun was a toy, but the scandal was very, very real. The royals were allegedly quite embarrassed by Pippa's behavior, so it'd make sense for them to want to keep their distance from Pippa — especially around the holidays.

Is it even a wedding without drama?

There's really nothing more obnoxious than having to smile through a holiday dinner when you're currently fighting with your family. Though Meghan Markle knows her way around a family feud, some reports have claimed that Markle probably isn't too keen on pulling a Christmas cracker with Pippa Middleton.

According to People, Middleton totally snubbed Markle when she got married in 2017. The former Suits actress was allegedly not invited to the church ceremony, even though the 150-person guest list included the arguable lowest-ranking category of Hollywood celebs: reality stars. The groom's brother, Made In Chelsea's Spencer Matthews, was best man.

To make matters worse, there reportedly wasn't an official "no ring, no bring" rule. People reports that both Princess Eugenie and Pippa's brother, James, were allowed to bring their longtime partners despite not being engaged or married. Markle ended up returning the sassy sentiment during her own wedding when she snubbed Pippa, according to Birmingham Live.

Though it's possible Markle was simply trying to avoid upstaging Pippa during her wedding to Matthews, as reported by E! Newswe still have to wonder if there's any bad blood between Kate Middleton's sister and sister-in-law. After all, if Markle's not a fan of Pippa's, we doubt the royals would go out of their way to invite her to holiday festivities.

What happens in Ibiza doesn't stay in Ibiza

It's pretty much a fact that almost every family has a drunk uncle who's always uncomfortably inappropriate. This is probably what the royal family want to avoid by keeping Kate's family away from the Christmas festivities. In 2009, Kate's troubled Uncle Gary Goldsmith was embroiled in a deeply embarrassing drug-related incident that likely got him banned from Buckingham Palace for life (though he was at Kate's wedding, so what do we know?).

According to Vanity Fair, Goldsmith likely gave the royal family a headache after giving two undercover News of the World reporters drugs at his multi-million dollar Ibiza mansion (the arguable party capital of Europe). He was reportedly messing around with cocaine in his kitchen, bragging about his loose ties to the British monarchy, and offering to arrange prostitutes for the reporters (via News.com.au). He even reportedly spilled some juicy details about a time when Prince William discussed Kate's figure during a family dinner — very un-prince-like behavior that we're sure Kate was just thrilled about.

It's hard to tell what would embarrass the royal family more — the drugs, the prostitutes, or Goldsmith's loose lips. Regardless, the fact that Goldsmith, a grown man, dubbed his home "Maison de Bang Bang" (or "House of Nookie" when translated) is enough to make any niece a little red.

Court-ordered rehab is never a good look

Gary Goldsmith's Ibiza incident happened in 2009, but his later behavior didn't make him any less of a royal liability. According to The Independent, Goldsmith was arrested after "assaulting his wife in a drunken argument." During the row, he reportedly called his wife "a nothing and w***e" as she accused him of "taking drugs and leaving her alone for most of the evening." Things allegedly escalated when, according to their taxi driver, Goldsmith threw a "left hook" and knocked his wife to the ground. The fight was reportedly so scarring that Goldsmith's wife told the courts that she suffers from panic attacks and "only leaves the house to walk the dogs and to go to work and food shopping."

Goldsmith was ultimately fined £5,000 (nearly $6,300 USD) and sentenced to a "12-month community order with 20 sessions of a rehabilitation order requirement." The rehab apparently didn't make a lasting mark, however. As of 2018, he was still allegedly getting drunk, urinating in the street, and seeking out some late night McDonald's (via the Daily Mail). Have you ever seen Queen Elizabeth chowing down on a Big Mac? We didn't think so (though, she sort of owns one).

Did Kate's family cause her previous split from William?

Most of us forget that the Duchess of Cambridge was, at one point, a princess without her prince — or worse, a commoner whose fairy tale crumbled like the rest of us living in the real world. In 2004, the pair had a "trial separation" that left the future queen "miserable," according to the book The Duchess of Cambridge: How Kate Middleton Became A Future Queen (via The Independent). During their breakup, the Duchess did what any heartbroken millennial would do: She went back home, "got drunk on white wine," vented to her friends, and donned a regrettable outfit during a "most unladylike display" at a roller rink. Girl, you do you. By 2007, the two were officially back together, and Kate would never be free to wear a sequined halter top again.

Though Kate is close to her family, they may have actually been in a way responsible for the painful split in the first place. According to Express, her mother's former career as a flight attendant was a source of constant ridicule for the then-future royal. It should be noted that the palace denied the couple's separation had anything to with her mom's service industry roots, but it couldn't have been easy for William and Kate to come from two different worlds.

A Halloween controversy

Buckingham Palace isn't really known for its Halloween spirit, though it seems like the kind of place that would hand out full-sized candy bars if given the chance. Regardless, they do know a thing or two about offensive costumes. Just ask Prince Harry after his inappropriate get-up made headlines in 2005. In 2018, the Palace had another unfortunate costume controversy, but, this time, the Middletons were at fault.

According to Fox News, the Duchess of Cambridge's family came under fire after listing a "Sleeping Zombie Princess" costume on their party store's website. Some considered the costume, which featured a bloody gown and tiara, a sign of disrespect to Princess Diana. Prince William's late mother passed away in a tragic car accident in 1997.

Though it's unclear if the costume actually upset the royal family, it definitely did upset at least one person close to the late Duchess of Cornwall. Diana's alleged friend Simone Simmons told The Daily Star that the costume was "sicker than sick" and called for a boycott. "This is really scraping the barrel. It's twisted and warped," she said. Ingrid Seward, royal author and Majesty magazine's editor-in-chief, also believed the costume was in "poor taste." The costume was subsequently pulled from the site.

We can't imagine that members of the royal family were very happy with the company's listing.

Kate's brother dropped out of college

James Middleton followed a less-than-royal path to success. While most of the royal family either attended university or enlisted in the military, the now-businessman is a college dropout. This didn't do a whole lot to shed his commoner image, but, in an interview with GQ, Kate's little bro admitted that school was never his strong point.

"I knew that that mouthful of academic prescription was not going to do it for me," said James, who suffers from dyslexia. "My dream, which came to me when I was flying back up to Edinburgh after a weekend home, was to build a cake empire. … My friends and family said I should stay [at university]. They said, 'Don't give up.' But I thought I wasn't dropping out but moving on, getting myself ready for the big wide world."

With a bank loan and some cash from his godfather Gary Goldsmith (yes, that Gary Goldsmith), James set up The Cake Kit Company as an offshoot of his family's party supply store. The company's success garnered a number of awards and allowed James to launch numerous businesses including Nice Cakes, Nice Wine, and Boomf, a company that specializes in custom-printed marshmallows.

Unfortunately, it wouldn't be long before three of his companies closed by 2015, as reported by the Daily Mail.

James' lack of a college education and his failed businesses might just be two more things working against him when it comes to the royals' Christmas guest list.

Drunken escapades

Just like sister Pippa, James has a reputation as a partier. The pair even share similar scandals.

During their time at Edinburgh University, both Pippa and James were members of the "Star Fishes," a hockey team that "spent as much time drinking as playing hockey," according to GQ. This hard-partying lifestyle was apparently too much for him to handle at his 21st birthday party, which he held at Raffles nightclub in 2008. After rounds of shots, the businessman was snapped urinating in the street (just like good ol' Uncle Goldsmith), and was reportedly so drunk he had to be carried to the car. According to GQ, Kate "stayed at the club an extra half an hour" just so she wouldn't be seen next to him. Talk about embarrassment!

This is far from James' only controversy. He scored more tabloid headlines in 2008 when photos surfaced of him wearing a French maid's outfit with fishnets and lipstick. In a separate incident, photos were found of him wearing one of Kate's polka-dot dresses. If borrowing Kate's clothes wasn't bad enough, scandalous, semi-nude photos of the businessman surfaced years later. According to E! News, one even showed him blow-drying his genitals, though he was wearing underwear.

Given his apparent propensity to don silly costumes and drink copious amounts of alcohol, the royal family may just want to keep him far away from the palace.

A hotelier's scandal

The royal family may have nothing to do with Pippa Middleton's father-in-law, David Matthews, but Pippa certainly does. It wouldn't be surprising if the palace wants to distance themselves from the hotelier's sexual assault scandal, especially in the era of #MeToo. Following accusations made against him, Town & Country reported that even Pippa, who's regularly captured by paps, was laying low.

According to Agence France-Presse (via People), Matthews was arrested in March 2018 after being accused of raping a minor sometime between 1998 and 1999 in St. Barts, where he owns a luxury hotel. The Daily Mail reported that the anonymous woman, who's been accused of "setting up" the millionaire, initially felt responsible for the alleged attacks. She told police she was 15 years old during the initial assault, but it escalated to rape once she turned 16. She didn't tell her parents until 2015, and she brought the complaint to the police about two years later. Matthews has since publicly denied the claims, but, at the time of this writing, the investigation is ongoing, according to The Telegraph.

It wouldn't seem odd if Pippa's connection to Matthews and his scandal served as another reason for the royals to keep Kate Middleton's family at arm's length around the Christmas season.