With Christmas approaching, the world is wondering what that holiday will entail for Meghan Markle, who will be spending it with the British royal family. Following news of her engagement to Prince Harry, there's been a lot of speculation about whether Markle will be invited to any of the Queen's festive celebrations. But as a spokesperson for Kensington Palace told The Telegraph last week: "You can expect to see the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry, and Ms. Markle at Sandringham on Christmas Day." A source told The Sunday Times, "Now they are engaged it was unthinkable that they would be apart for Christmas. The Royal Family have fully welcomed Meghan into the fold."
The Sunday Times previously reported that Markle would be spending Christmas Day at Sandringham, and would be the first royal fiancée to do so. Markle will reportedly lodge with Harry at Prince William and Kate Middleton's home, Anmer Hall in Norfolk, throughout the festivities. So what exactly can Markle expect from her magical first Christmas with the British royal family?
1) The Queen's pre-Christmas party for extended family.
The Queen threw her annual holiday party last Wednesday, which was attended by more than 50 members of the royal family, including the the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George and Princess Charlotte, Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla, Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice, and Zara and Mike Tindall.
The Daily Express notes that Kate attended this very same event when she got engaged to William in 2010, and it gave Markle the opportunity to meet many members of the royal family she hasn't met before.
2) Christmas Eve with the Queen.
According to The Sunday Times, Markle will spend Christmas Eve at Sandringham, and partake in all of the royal family's longstanding traditions, such as attending a black-tie dinner and going on a pheasant shoot.
As PopSugar writes, the family will also partake in an afternoon tea which apparently takes place in the White Drawing Room at Sandringham. As the former royal chef Darren McGrady reveals, "one of the family's favorite tea items is the 'jam penny'—sandwiches cut into circles the size of an old English penny." They are also supposedly partial to small scones, which the Queen likes to feed to her corgis.
Markle's invitation is unusual as Us Weekly notes that the "three-day yuletide fete has had a strict spouses-only policy." But as Markle is becoming a member of the family in 2018, and her family does not reside in the U.K., the Queen made a special exception for her.
3) Gift-giving on Christmas Eve.
Christmas Eve is special for the royal family as, via the Sunday Express, "Following the German tradition, the royal family open their presents on Christmas Eve." Us Weekly notes that Markle will be included in the annual gift giving, and "will have her own spot on the gift table in the red drawing room. As royal relatives arrive that afternoon, a team of chauffeurs and valets will carry in their gifts, arranging them by recipient on the oversize trestle table." Basically, Christmas Eve will involve a lot of presents.
The Sun reports that there is a longstanding tradition the royals have of buying joke gifts for one another. According to the publication, "Prince Charles’s favorite-ever gift is reportedly a white leather toilet seat from Princess Anne, which he found so comfy that it now travels with him on his overseas tours."
The family will also take the opportunity to finish decorating the 20-foot tree ahead of Christmas Day.
4) The Christmas Eve Soccer Game.
An annual tradition at Sandringham involves Prince Harry and Prince William taking part in a soccer game with staff at the estate. According to PopSugar, both princes "wear the socks of their favorite teams (Aston Villa for William and Arsenal for Harry)."
It's likely Markle will be cheering on Harry from the sidelines, and we might even get some photographic evidence of the game.
5) Christmas Day with the Royal Family.
A report by Us Weekly claims that the day will start with a "traditional English breakfast" followed by "a mandatory 11 AM service at St. Mary Magdalene Church."
According to Us Weekly, Christmas lunch includes three turkeys and copious amounts of "Brussels sprouts, carrots, potatoes and a flaming Christmas pudding." There is a limit to the number of people that can sit down at Sandringham for dinner—"Christmas lunch is 24 adults, and children are seated in the nursery," according to PopSugar.
The day will also involve listening to the pre-taped Queen's speech after lunch. It's thought that the Queen will congratulate her grandson Prince Harry on his engagement to Markle in this year's speech.
6) Boxing Day.
A source revealed to Us Weekly that Boxing Day will be quiet for Markle, who will apparently relax with pregnant Kate Middleton at her home. The source said, "They’ve developed a friendship, and Meghan can turn to Kate for advice."
Huffington Post reports that after Boxing Day, Markle and Prince Harry will leave Sandringham to visit Markle's mother, Doria Ragland, in California.
Markle's first royal Christmas looks set to be pretty magical.