It’s been confirmed that Meghan Markle will spend her first Christmas with her in-laws-to-be, the Royal Family, at Sandringham.
The 35-year-old actress, who’s engaged to marry Prince Harry, will spend the festive period in Norfolk with Harry’s relatives instead of in the US with her own.
Meghan will join the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children on Christmas Day – so stay tuned for photos of the family en route to church.
A Kensington Palace spokesman said: “You can expect to see the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry and Ms Markle on Christmas Day.”
The Duchess of Cambridge was left without an invite to the Queen’s Christmas celebrations when she got engaged to Prince William in November 2010.
However, royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams believes the Queen has made an exception for Meghan. “It is expected Meghan will join Harry and the rest of the family for Christmas on the Queen’s estate in Sandringham in Norfolk this year,” he told the Express.
“Now they are engaged and she will shortly be a senior member of the Royal Family, it is pivotal that she feels an integral part of it as soon as possible.”
“Kate and the younger members will help her through the strict protocol of the royal festive celebrations which take place over three days and which can be daunting.”
Turns out these ‘daunting’ festivities involve quite a lot.
Former chef to the Queen, Princess Diana, Prince William and Prince Harry, Darren McGrady, has revealed to Good Housekeeping exactly what the three day celebrations involve.
The Queen arrives at Sandringham House in Norfolk on December 19 or 20. The rest of the family will join the monarch on Christmas Eve.
As the royals are of German descent, “they weave in German traditions to their celebrations. After afternoon tea, they open gifts on Christmas Eve, as is the German tradition.”
When Christmas Day arrives, the family eat a big breakfast before heading off to church. Then it’s time for the main meal.
McGrady said the big lunch “includes a salad with shrimp or lobster, and a roasted turkey, and all of your traditional side dishes like parsnips, carrots, Brussels sprouts and Christmas pudding with brandy butter for dessert.”
“They stick with the same meal year after year. Once they’ve eaten, everyone sits down and watches the Queen’s Christmas speech.”
Then, the family go their separate ways before meeting for yet another afternoon tea and “traditional Christmas fruitcake.” If you thought it was over, it’s not. The royals come together again in the evening “where a buffet dinner with 15-20 different items awaits them.”
“It’s always a buffet with the chefs at the table carving. They don’t do appetisers on Christmas like many do in the US.”
According to McGrady, the Queen is “a major chocaholic, particularly dark chocolate,” meaning the royal family are always subjected to the horror of a chocolate treat on Christmas.
Harry and Meghan are believed to be staying in Sandringham’s Anmer Hall with Prince William and Kate and Prince George and Princess Charlotte over the festive period.
The newly engaged couple are also thought to be planning a holiday in the new year with the intention of visiting Meghan’s mother in California.
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