How Will Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Spend Their First Christmas as a Married Couple?

Meghan joined the royal family for their Christmas celebrations last year, despite it being unusual for non-married partners to spend the holiday with the Queen

WWI Centennial, London, United Kingdom - 11 Nov 2018
Photo: Alastair Grant/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are gearing up for a traditional royal Christmas!

For their second holiday together – and first as a married couple and soon-to-be parents! – Meghan and Harry will head to Norfolk for Christmas with the Queen at Sandringham, the 92-year-old monarch’s country home about 110 miles north of London.

They’ll take part in a number of traditions. Guests usually arrive in the early afternoon on Christmas Eve and exchange gifts. After their church outing on the big day, the royal family heads back to Sandringham House for a lunch of Norfolk turkey and other festivities.

Christmas Day church service, Sandringham, Norfolk, UK - 25 Dec 2017
Tim Rooke/REX/Shutterstock

Meghan joined the royal family for their Christmas celebrations last year, despite it being unusual for non-married partners of senior members of the family to join the Queen for Christmas Day celebrations. Despite being engaged to William, in 2010 Kate spent her last Christmas as a single woman with her own family. But, unlike Kate, Meghan doesn’t have any family in the U.K. — and clearly Harry will have wanted his new fiancée by his side.

Despite reports that Prince William and Kate Middleton would likely be spending the holiday with Kate’s family in Bucklebury, the couple will be joining the rest of the royal family. They will stay at their nearby home of Anmer Hall with children Prince George, 5, Princess Charlotte, 3, and 8-month-old Prince Louis.

Members Of The Royal Family Attend St Mary Magdalene Church In Sandringham
Chris Jackson/Getty

Claims have swirled about tension between brothers William and Harry and their wives, Kate and Meghan. But contrary to those reports, a source tells PEOPLE that the couples enjoyed a memorable first Christmas together last year, when Meghan made her debut walk to church with the royal family on Christmas Day.

“They really loved Christmas and all had a wonderful time,” the source says. “I think the two women got on — they are definitely not best friends, but it was a really special time for them all to spend together.”


One person who won’t be joining in the festivities? Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland.

Despite previous reports that Doria was invited to spend Christmas with the royal family, PEOPLE confirms that the Los-Angeles based yoga instructor and social worker will not be in Norfolk.

The Middletons have never joined the royals for Christmas, but Kate and William decided to skip spending Christmas at Sandringham in 2016. Instead, they brought Prince George and Princess Charlotte to church with Kate’s family in Englefield, England, near her childhood home.

The news comes shortly after PEOPLE confirmed that Doria will not be moving in when Meghan and Harry leave Kensington Palace for their new home at Windsor Castle’s Frogmore Cottage next year. Doria may have rooms set aside for her in the cottage, located close to the house where Harry and Meghan’s evening wedding party was held and where their engagement photos were taken about a year ago, but she’s not making a permanent move there.

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