Kensington Palace have confirmed that Meghan Markle will join her fiance, Prince Harry and the Royal Family at Sandringham for Christmas this year.
“You can expect to see The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry and Ms Markle at Sandringham for Christmas,” the palace said.
In the unusual move, the American actress will head to church on Christmas Day alongside Harry, as well as her future grandmother-in-law, The Queen, Prince Philip, Prince Charles and Camilla, Prince William and Kate, Prince Andrew, Princess Anne, and The Earl and Countess of Wessex, amongst other family members.
Meghan will walk to St Mary Magdalene Church from Sandringham House on 25th December with Prince Harry, to attend two church services, and Christmas lunch in the afternoon.
As we understand, no other royal fiance/fiancee has joined The Queen and her family for Christmas celebrations before the couple were married, marking a seeming change in attitudes and protocol. The Duchess of Cambridge – then Kate Middleton – had Christmas with her own family in December 2010, and Mike Tindall also did not go to Sandringham until after he wed Zara.
We might also see the newly-engaged couple arrive at Buckingham Palace together later this week for The Queen’s family Christmas lunch; the entire extended Royal Family sit down to dinner, as not everyone can fit at the Norfolk country house. If she has not been introduced to the extended family, this will be the ideal opportunity.
There has been no comment on the details of Meghan Markle going, but many suggest that she will stay with The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at Anmer Hall, which forms part of the Sandringham Estate. It is unclear whether this is what Prince Harry usually does, or if he normally stays at Sandringham House with his grandparents.
“Since Kensington Palace announced Meghan would be travelling, and visiting family and friends before marrying, it seemed an odd suggestion that she would join the Royals at Christmas,” our editor, Victoria Howard said. “It will also potentially be her last family Christmas before marrying into the family.”
“However, this clearly marks a shift in attitudes at the palace, and possibly takes into account that Meghan is relocating thousands of miles from home. Her presence will be a welcome addition at the family gathering and a nice way to welcome her. She has clearly already won them over!”
The couple were a hit on their first joint engagement in Nottingham just a few days after their engagement was made public.
Prince Harry and Meghan are due to marry in May 2018 at St George’s Chapel, Windsor.
What do you think of the decision?