She’s not yet married to Prince Harry but the Queen has made an exception for Meghan Markle by inviting her to join Christmas festivities at Sandrigham.
A spokesperson for Kensington Palace confirmed the news today, saying: ‘You can expect to see The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry and Ms Markle at Sandringham on Christmas Day.’
Ms Markle and fiance Prince Harry will be seen in public with other royals when they attend the traditional Christmas Day church service on the Queen’s private estate in Norfolk.
The couple got engaged on November 27 and a few days later a proud Harry introduced his bride-to-be to the nation during a series of official events in Nottingham.
She’s not yet married to Prince Harry but the Queen has made an exception for Meghan Markle by inviting her to join Christmas festivities at Sandrigham
The Queen has broken with tradition by inviting Meghan Markle to join the royal family at her Norfolk estate for Christmas
Buckingham Palace has said the Queen and other members of the royal family will join the congregation for the morning service at St Mary Magdalene Church on December 25.
Meghan’s invite represents a break from tradition however, as Kate was not invited to join the royals for Christmas in 2010 despite the announcement of her engagement William a month before.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will also be in attendance this year, after opting to spend December 25th with the Middletons in 2016.
Among the royals expected to go to Sandringham on Christmas Eve are Prince Harry, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, Princess Anne and Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence and Prince Edward with his wife, Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, and their children, Lady Louise and James, Viscount Severn.
Harry is bringing a partner to the family Christmas celebrations for the first time this year
Meghan was not invited to join the royal family’s celebrations last year with it considered unprecedented as the invite is usually reserved for close family.
But with a wedding on the way Meghan is expected to be welcomed to the three-day celebrations in the Norfolk home.
William and Kate have missed the royal celebrations once previously – back in 2012 – when Kate was pregnant with her son and suffering from an acute form of morning sickness, hyperemesis gravidarum.
But they re-joined the family at the Queen’s 20,000-acre Norfolk estate for Prince Philip’s traditional Boxing Day pheasant shoot.
At Sandringham tradition and formality – including daily visits to church and several changes of dress a day – is the norm during the Christmas celebrations.
Everything from their arrival time to when they eat breakfast, walk the dogs, sit down to lunch and retire to bed is strictly timetabled. Even lunch on Christmas Day is pencilled in for just 50 minutes.