By Emma Dooney published
The Queen gave Meghan Markle a Christmas privilege that was not afforded to Kate Middleton in 2017, much to the surprise of royal fans.
- The Queen treated Meghan Markle to a special Christmas gift in 2017 by allowing her to join the Royal Family's festive celebrations at Sandringham House.
- Traditionally, only royal spouses are invited to the lavish affair, but Her Majesty made an exception for the Duchess of Sussex.
- In other royal news, the surprising thing Carole Middleton and Meghan Markle have in common has been revealed.
Her Majesty may be a stickler for tradition, but when it comes to the holidays, she's been known to bend the rules ever so slightly.
The Queen allowed Meghan to join the Royal Family on Christmas Day in 2017—despite the fact she was not yet married to Prince Harry. The engaged couple stepped out together in public at the St Mary Magdalene Church for the festive occasion four years ago, in a move that appeared to boldly deviate from royal protocol.
Her Majesty had historically only invited spouses to Sandringham House for the December celebrations but made a rare exception for her future granddaughter-in-law, who was over 5,000 miles away from her family in North America.
"Attending as a fiancée is a first for the family,” a source told US Weekly at the time. “Given that Meghan doesn’t have family in the U.K., it’s only right that she spends Christmas with Harry and his.”
This special privilege was not afforded to Kate Middleton, who had to wait until she was married to Prince William in 2011 to attend the exclusive celebrations.
It's understood that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will not return to the UK this Christmas, marking their second year in a row away from the Royal Family.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who welcomed their second child, Lilibet Diana, in June, have reportedly not made any plans to fly to Britain for the festive season—and with Covid travel restrictions threatening to increase, it looks unlikely they'll be changing their minds. The Queen's fragile condition after two months of poor health and the death of her husband, Prince Philip, has also shed doubt over the possibility of a blowout Christmas.
Despite this, Her Majesty is said to be 'committed' to hosting the usual celebrations at her Norfolk country estate, where she traditionally stays over the winter break. The Queen spent last Christmas away from the Royal Family in Windsor Castle due to Covid concerns but is reportedly desperate to return to normal this year.
Here's hoping she gets her wishes!
Emma is a news writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life. She covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health or lifestyle story. When she's not reporting on the British monarchy and A-list celebs, you can find her whipping up vegan treats and running the roads to cheesy '90s pop music...but not at the same time, obviously.
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