For the last couple of months, there have been lots of things stirring in the royal family. As early as last spring, Prince Harry has had the idea of his girlfriend, Meghan Markle finally meeting his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II? William took 5 years to finally introduce Duchess Kate, however, it seems that Harry is more anxious to have his girlfriend meet the woman he once called “the example I aspire to,” a pal of his revealed for Us Weekly.
Of course, the actress was nervous, says a friend of Meghan, “in the way you would be if you were meeting your future in-laws.” She looked quite relieved after their tea time early in September and it seems that the meeting went well. . “To be able to meet her through his lens, not just with his honor and respect for her as the monarch, but the love that he has for her as his grandmother, all of those layers have been so important for me,” Markle explained in her and Harry’s November 27 engagement interview, “so that when I met her, I had such a deep understanding and of course incredible respect for being able to have that time with her.” It seems that the Queen is also equally impressed as Harry stated: “It went well. It’ll no doubt be the first of many encounters they have.”
Well, the next event is at our doorstep. Christmas eve. Even though throughout history the event had a spouses-only rule, the soon to be bride already got an invite. Given that her closest family is just 5,000-plus miles away in LA, it’s only understandable to invite the newest resident of Kensington Palace to the event. Says the insider, “Given that Meghan doesn’t have family in the U.K., it’s only right that she spends Christmas with Harry and his.”
Other outlets have reported that the 36-year-old Suits star will only make a guest appearance at the affair, a source close to Harry is adamant that she is on for the full 72 hours of festive family time at the queen’s 20,000 acres Sandringham spread, some 112 miles north of London.
“Harry asked the queen for permission last month,” explains the source, “and she is delighted to have Harry bring his fiancée. It is a family occasion, after all, and Meghan is very much family now.”
On December 24th, Meghan will have her very own spot on the gift table in the red drawing room. As the royal relatives will be arriving that afternoon, a whole team of chauffeurs and valets will carry the gifts to the oversize trestle table and arrange them by a recipient.
Directly after the 4 p.m. tea, the group will swap gag gifts. One year, former Kensington Palace chef Darren McGrady recalls to us, “Princess Anne bought Prince Charles a Britannia toilet seat because he collected them.”
With the gifts unwrapped, the group dresses up in the best clothes than can find. Though the dinner isn’t particularly festive -“There’s nothing Christmas-y until the next day,” notes McGrady — black tie is a must.
(For her first ever Christmas with the Royals, Kate packed 4 outfits…a day)
Next morning starts quite early. Before the mandatory 11 a.m. Christmas Day service at the estate’s St. Mary Magdalene Church, they have a traditional English breakfast. After the service, there is more eating. A lunch with two roast turkeys- and a third one that is sent up in the nursery, where it is carefully carved in the tiniest of pieces for the tiniest heirs- Brussels sprouts, carrots, potatoes and a flaming Christmas pudding.
With a full stomach (and they still have a big three-course dinner and chocolate yule log) everyone goes to the fire-lit saloon to listen to the queen’s taped speech. Some rumors say that “In this year’s address, she will congratulate Harry and Meghan!”