Even though the news Meghan Markle was joining the royal family for Christmas was announced on Dec. 13, it was a day that changed royal protocol. The fact that Prince Harry’s fiancée was allowed to participate in the family’s Christmas festivities demonstrates the more relaxed policies Kensington Palace has implemented over the last few months as they begin to welcome Markle into the family.
More: How the Royal Family Celebrates the Holidays
Prince Harry and Markle, along with Prince William and Duchess Catherine of Cambridge, formerly known as Kate Middleton, walked to the Church of St. Mary Magdalene for Christmas services. It was the first time royal watchers have seen the two couples together.
Merry Christmas! The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle have joined members of the Royal Family for the Morning Service on Christmas Day in Sandringham. pic.twitter.com/6DMRGFPntt
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) December 25, 2017
Markle continues to be the fashion trendsetter. She donned a dark-brown beret paired with a tan overcoat and fashionable brown suede boots while she cuddled in close to Prince Harry.
Kate sported a green and red plaid coat adorned with gold buttons and a warm black hat.
While the young couples walked to church on the Sandringham estate, Queen Elizabeth arrived in a vehicle accompanied by Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall.
Later that day, the royals had a Christmas lunch of roast turkey and steamed fruit pudding. The afternoon was topped off by watching the queen’s prerecorded Christmas address to the nation.
The queen even seems to be enamored with Markle; she briefly mentioned the impending wedding, saying that 2018 will mark “welcoming new members into [the family] next year.” Of course, the queen is also referencing the upcoming birth of her third grandchild from Prince William and Kate.
All eyes will continue to be on Markle as she preps for her May 17 wedding to Prince Harry. While it is expected to be a smaller affair compared to Prince William and Kate, many fans are excited to see an American walk down the aisle with a prince.
— Nick Barnes (@imnickbarnes) December 25, 2017
Meghan Markle is really living out a Hallmark Christmas movie. They make like 3 regular girl meets a prince movies every season and this is the exact plot.
— Nova Bored Alone (@cocoqt81) December 25, 2017
Woke up to a photo of Meghan Markle in her Christmas hat, so my Christmas is already off to a great start.
— Jen Hewett (@jenhewett) December 25, 2017
2017 capped off a whirlwind year for Markle, who ended her seven-season run on Suits, moved from Toronto to London, announced her engagement and made her first joint royal appearance on Dec. 1. Now, it’s time to plan a wedding!