The special way Meghan Markle broke royal Christmas tradition

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·2-min read
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  • Meghan, Duchess of Sussex
    Meghan, Duchess of Sussex
    American actress
  • Prince William, Duke of Cambridge
    Prince William, Duke of Cambridge
    Duke of Cambridge
Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

With the festive season well and truly underway (yep, there's only 23 days until Christmas), you might be wondering what the Royal Family will be doing to celebrate the occasion. As it turns out, there's plenty of royal traditions when it comes to how they mark the holidays, like 'Stir Up Sunday' which sees them gather together to prepare their Christmas pudding. Another one of their longstanding traditions, is to join the Queen at her home on the Sandringham Estate, which they've done almost every year since the 1980s.

That's not to say that every Royal immediately finds themselves on the invite list to the Queen's Christmas celebrations though, especially those who haven't officially married into the family yet. Take Kate Middleton for example, who first started dating Prince William back in the early noughties, but wasn't allowed to celebrate Christmas with him (and the other Royals) at Sandringham until after their wedding in 2011.

Luckily though, some royal partners found themselves able to skip the festive FOMO altogether, earning themselves an exclusive invite to Sandringham before they'd officially said 'I do.' Back in 2017, Meghan Markle surprised royal fans when she made an appearance at the Sandringham Estate on Christmas Day – five months before she and Prince Harry got married. On the day, the duo were photographed alongside Prince William and Kate outside a church, earning themselves the nickname: The Fab Four.

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

Similarly, Princess Beatrice's now-husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi joined the festivities in 2019. He was due to marry Beatrice just a few months later, in May 2020, however this was postponed in July due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year however, the Christmas invite list at Sandringham looks a little different, with Prince Harry and Meghan planning to stay at their home in California – despite initial rumours that the Sussex family would fly over the pond to spend Christmas with the Queen and other Royal Family members.

According to an insider, who spoke to Page Six, Her Majesty extended an invite to the Sussexes to join her at Sandringham for the holidays. But the couple reportedly turned the invitation down in the hopes of "avoiding a media frenzy." The last time the Sussexes celebrated Christmas at Sandringham was 2018, 13 months before they announced they were stepping down as Senior Royals.

"There's a lot that goes into the logistics and the planning of the family Christmas, so of course, staff know that Harry and Meghan are not coming," the source revealed. "If they were, they would have communicated it to their family by now."

Other Royals who'll join the Queen at Sandringham (where she reportedly feels closest to her late husband) include: Prince Charles, Camilla Parker-Bowles, Prince William, Kate Middleton and, of course, the Cambridge children, Prince George (8), Princess Charlotte (6) and Prince Louis (3).

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