Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are keen to join the royals for Christmas it has been revealed, but there is one big condition.
King Charles is yet to invite the pair for the big day, however they have been mending their ties with the rest of the family in recent weeks.
But the couple will only return to the UK during the festive period if they receive guarantees that security will be supplied.
It comes after friends of the Sussexes said the pair wanted to change the situation with the King, who has only met his grandchildren Prince Archie, 4, and Princess Lilibet, 2, a handful of times.
They say the pair would accept an invitation to join the family for Christmas at the King’s Norfolk home Sandringham.
One friend told the Times: “I can’t imagine the Sussexes would decline an invitation to spend time with His Majesty. As of yet, there have not been any invitations for the holidays.”
Sources close to the pair told the Times they would need a “formal invitation” from the King or Buckingham Palace to be able to stay on “protected property” that has adequate security for the whole family.
Prince Harry is currently involved in a legal battle with the Home Office over the decision to remove his police protection when he is in the UK, despite him offering to pay for it.
A legal representative says he is “unable to return to his home” because it is too dangerous, but royal aides say temporary accommodation for Harry on the royal estate, which is covered by heightened protection, could be made available for him for short visits.
However, when he returned for a charity event in September during the anniversary of Queen Elizabeth’s death, royal estate accommodation was refused.
The King had invited his son to visit him at Balmoral, but Prince Harry’s itinerary made it impossible for him to attend.
It is also thought that the couple are concerned about how much private information could be leaked from a Christmas at Sandringham, with Prince Harry accusing his family of leaking information to the press, something the palace denies.
The King has never spent Christmas with either of the grandchildren and it is believed there is sadness from both parties over this.
It has emerged that Prince Harry called the King on Tuesday to wish him a happy 75th birthday and it has been said that the pair enjoyed a “warm” conversation before Archie and Lilibet sang Happy Birthday to him in a video.
Sources close to the Sussexes called it a “turning point” in Prince Harry’s relationship with the King, which could see him get an invite for Christmas festivities.