Meghan Markle is well on her way to becoming a full-fledged member of the royal family: she’s already spent one-on-one time with Queen Elizabeth II and moved to Prince Harry’s Nottingham Cottage, next door to Prince William and Kate Middleton’s home on the Kensington Palace grounds, and now, she’s celebrating the holidays with her fiancé’s extended family.
According to People, Meghan and Harry joined Will, Kate, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and more than 50 other members of the royal family for the queen’s annual pre-Christmas lunch at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday. Harry and Meghan were photographed driving to the palace in a Land Rover shortly after Will, Kate, and their kids arrived in their own Range Rover. People reports that all of Queen Elizabeth’s four children were in attendance, as well as most of her eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren; Prince Charles, Duchess Camilla, Princess Eugenie, Princess Beatrice, and Zara and Mike Tindall were all spotted at the palace. This was reportedly the first time Markle attended a lunch with the entire family at the palace.
QEII’s annual pre-Christmas lunch kicks off her multi-day Christmas celebrations, for which Markle will also be in attendance. The queen and her family will spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in Norfolk, about a three-hour drive north of London. According to People, they’ll spend Christmas Eve exchanging gifts at her Sandringham House country estate, attend church at nearby St. Mary Magdalene Church the following morning, then feast on a Christmas lunch at the estate. As Us Weekly previously reported, Meghan and Harry will most likely stay with Will and Kate at their own Norfolk estate, Anmer Hall, for the holidays.
Meghan’s inclusion in the queen’s Christmas festivities marks something of a break with tradition. In December 2010, one month after her own royal engagement, although Kate did attend the pre-Christmas lunch with the rest of the extended family, she was not invited to Sandringham House for Christmas Day celebrations.