The official news from Kensington Palace is that Prince Harry and fiancée Megan Markle will join the Queen, Prince William, and Kate Middleton at Sandringham on Christmas Day.
“You can expect to see the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry and Ms. Markle at Sandringham on Christmas Day,” a Kensington Palace spokesman confirmed on Wednesday.
“Given that Meghan doesn’t have family in the U.K., it’s only right that she spends Christmas with Harry and his,” a Us Magazine source informed the weekly. “Harry asked the queen for permission last month and she is delighted to have Harry bring his fiancée. It is a family occasion, after all, and Meghan is very much family now.”
The royal get together will start a day before on Christmas Eve, when all concerned will arrive for afternoon tea and a black-tie dinner and, in keeping with the royal tradition, the opening of presents.
On Christmas Day, Markle, her royal in-laws and fiancé Harry will attend the mandatory 11 a.m. Christmas Day service at the estate’s St.
Mary Magdalene Church, but not before an English breakfast.
“Lunch will follow with two roast turkeys and a third will be set in the nursery and include Brussels sprouts, carrots, potatoes and a flaming Christmas pudding,” says the Us Magazine.
The Queen began celebrating Christmas at Sandringham in 1988 and not once did she miss the Christmas Day get together – well not until last year when a “heavy cold” kept her away from the annual celebrations.
While it is confirmed that the engaged couple will stay at Nottingham Cottage, for Christmas they will be the guests of Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton at their Anmer Hall home in Norfolk, England.
“Keeping up with tradition, the family will then retire to the fire-lit saloon and listen to the queen’s taped speech,” confirms the weekly. “Her Majesty will congratulate Harry and Meghan on their upcoming nuptials this year.”
“They’ll be William and Kate’s guests and travel back and forth with them,” a source told Us Magazine adding that the would-be sisters-in-law have “developed a friendship, and Meghan can turn to Kate for advice.”
According to an expert, the move to invite Markle before her marriage to Prince Harry is a deviation from royal protocol.
Royal watcher Richard Fitzwilliams told Express.co.uk last month:
“In 2010 Kate was not invited after her engagement to William nor was Mike Tindall after his to Zara Phillips. Only spouses and close family are usually invited. However, Harry and Meghan will be living together at Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace and her family are in the United States. The monarchy relies heavily on precedent and tradition but it also makes its own.”
After more than a year of dating, Prince Harry and Markle made their engagement official last month through a Clarence House statement which said:
“His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales is delighted to announce the engagement of Prince Harry to Ms. Meghan Markle.
The royal statement also confirmed that the wedding will take place in the spring of 2018 and that the couple will live in Nottingham Cottage, Kensington Palace
Not too long after the announcement, the couple sat down for their first joint interview.