Meghan, 36, and her groom-to-be Prince Harry, 33, walked to the Church of St. Mary Magdalene with Prince William and Kate Middleton. Four-year-old Prince George and 2-year-old Princess Charlotte stayed home to enjoy their presents.
Meghan, who wore a tan coat, brown suede boots and a dark brown wool beret for the chilly morning walk, looped her hand in Harry’s arm as they followed closely behind Prince Philip.
William and Kate, who wore a festive plaid coat and black hat, held hands as they walked beside the newly engaged couple for their first official appearance together as a foursome.
Queen Elizabeth arrived by car with Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall just ahead of everyone walking.
The couple, who are set to get married on May 19 at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, delighted well-wishers who lined the route surrounding the 16th-century church on the Queen’s Sandringham estate in Norfolk, about 100 miles north of London.
The high-profile outing is a departure from typical protocol, as unmarried partners of royals had previously not been invited to Sandringham for the big day until now. (As William’s fiancée back in 2010, Kate did not attend Christmas services with him.)
At 91, Queen Elizabeth “is easier-going,” says longtime royals author Ingrid Seward. “It’s refreshing that [the royals] are prepared to bend a bit.”
After church, Meghan joined the family for a lunch of roast turkey followed by steamed fruit pudding, before they all sat down to watch the Queen’s annual televised address to the nation at 3 p.m. (Along with a few surprisingly silly traditions!)
It’s unknown how long Meghan, who also joined Harry at the Queen’s pre-holiday lunch for the extended Windsor family at Buckingham Palace on December 20, is staying on the estate – and if the animal lover will join avid hunter Harry in the annual Boxing Day pheasant shoot on December 26.
It has been an intense month since the couple announced their engagement on November 27. They have logged their first joint royal appearance – spending a day in Nottingham on December 1 – and then they joined the Queen at the annual staff party at Windsor Castle. And of course, their wedding planning is in high gear!