Meghan Markle Is Breaking Royal Protocol By Spending Christmas With the Queen

Fiancées aren't normally invited to the royal family's holiday celebrations

Prince Harry Meghan Markle

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Meghan Markle will spend Christmas with the royal family this year at the Queen’s Norfolk estate, Kensington Palace confirmed—but she’ll be breaking royal tradition by doing so.

Fiancées aren’t usually invited to spend the holiday with the royals. Kate Middleton, for example, spent Christmas with her family in Berkshire in 2010, even though she and Prince William announced their engagement a month before.

Prince Harry, who announced his engagement to Markle on November 27, apparently asked his grandmother for a special exception for his bride-to-be. “If Harry asks for something, the Queen would say yes as she adores him,” a family friend of the royal told People.

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Queen Elizabeth II Christmas speech 2016

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“Attending as a fiancée is a first for the family,” a source told Us Weekly. But it makes sense for Markle to attend, since she just moved out of her Toronto home and moved in with Harry and Kensington Palace. “Given that Meghan doesn’t have family in the U.K., it’s only right that she spends Christmas with Harry and his,” the insider added.

Plus, it seems the royals have basically accepted Markle as one of their own. “Now they are engaged it was unthinkable that they would be apart for Christmas,” a friend of Prince Harry told The Sunday Times. “The Royal Family have fully welcomed Meghan into the fold.”

This isn’t the first time the couple has strayed from royal tradition. They frequently hold hands—from their engagement photo call, to their first interview, to their first royal engagement—even though the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge refrain from showing PDA during royal appearances, because they’re technically “at work.”

Markle also apparently broke royal protocol when she opted for a bag instead of a clutch during her first official event with Harry, and when she didn’t wear nude stockings under her skirt for the engagement photo call.

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Prince William Kate Middleton Prince George Princess Charlotte

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The former Suits star and Prince Harry will be attending Christmas Day church service on the Queen’s private estate, Sandringham House, with other senior members of the royal family. Afterwards, they’ll likely participate in other royal holiday customs, like having a big lunch (which usually includes roasted turkey, according to the Queen’s former chef), watching Her Majesty’s Christmas speech, drinking afternoon tea, and indulging in a buffet dinner.

After the holiday, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (and their children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte) are expected to host the newly-engaged couple at their nearby country home, Anmer Hall.

This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR US.

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