It’s Christmas with the Queen! Meghan’s surprise invite
She’s royally nervous
Traditionally, the royal family’s annual Christmas celebration at Sandringham estate is an elaborate, formal and highly exclusive affair. But this year, in a move that’s delighted Prince Harry, the Queen has increased the guest list to include his girlfriend Meghan Markle.
And Woman’s Day can reveal that it was the Duchess of Cambridge who convinced the Suits actress to accept the rare invite, after she was struck by nerves over the daunting prospect.
Not only was Meghan, 36, worried she might not fit in, but she was also upset at the prospect of her first Christmas without her mum Doria, who lives in Los Angeles.
Tells our insider, “Meghan wants to spend Christmas with Harry and his family very much, but she’s never spent it apart from her mum, ever. She knew Doria wouldn’t be invited to sit around the royal family’s festive table at Sandringham, but she at least wants her nearby. They’re very close.”
So kind-hearted Kate leapt to Meghan’s rescue, offering Doria a guest room at her and Prince William’s country home Anmer Hall, where they’ll be based with Prince George, four, and two-year-old Princess Charlotte over the Christmas break. Kate and William, both 35, will be hosting the entire Middleton family there as well and have assured Meghan that Doria is more than welcome.
“The Middletons will do everything they can to make Meghan’s mum feel welcome,” says the source. “They know how overwhelming it is to suddenly be a part of the royal family, and they have a lot of advice and experience to share.”
Kate has also taken it upon herself to calm Meghan’s nerves about the Queen’s traditional three days of festivities at Sandringham, which is usually for close relatives only and involves a formal black-tie dinner on Christmas Eve followed by a church service and luncheon with all the trimmings on December 25.
“Meghan has met the Queen twice now, but she’s still a bag of nerves at the thought of joining the entire royal family at their traditional event. Being American, it all seems incredibly foreign and she’s petrified she’ll do something wrong.”
Kate, however, is helping her choose appropriate outfits and has been schooling her on when to curtsy, how to address the various royals and even giving her gift ideas.
“Kate knows how Meghan feels,” tells the insider. “Her first Christmas at Sandringham was unforgettable and she can remember just how nervous she was. Meghan has been asking all kinds of questions about whether she is expected to curtsy for the Queen, what presents to buy everyone and even if she and Harry will be allowed
to sleep in the same bed!
“Kate has been amazing at reassuring her and they have been having a real giggle together about the formality of it all. Meghan is used to learning scripts, and Kate has provided her with a running order of events, plus a few dos and don’ts to help her on her way.”
The source adds that Kate has even warned her about the foibles of certain members of the Windsor clan. “Kate passed on that Princess Anne can seem abrupt and that Prince Andrew is a bit of a prankster, who might try to embarrass her.”
But along with Harry, who has promised Meghan he’ll never leave her side, Kate has also vowed to support her every step of the way – including taking her mum under her wing.
“Meghan is a little overwhelmed by Kate’s kindness,” says the insider. “Kate has gone out of her way to help her calm her nerves and adjust to royal life. They have become really good friends.”
Meanwhile, royal insiders say Meghan’s inclusion at Christmas with the Queen is yet another sign that an engagement announcement is imminent. As reported by Woman’s
Day back in August, it’s widely believed that Harry proposed on a romantic African holiday together. Inside sources say a formal announcement is likely to be made after the Queen and Prince Philip’s 70th wedding anniversary on November 20.
“Meghan has been accepted into the family fold without hesitation,” tells a source. “And Harry just couldn’t be happier. He knows the royal family has come a long way in recent years and he’ll be eternally grateful that they’re supporting him to marry the woman he so adores.”
She’s an angel! A jolly worried Meghan is so thankful for Kate’s advice.
Left: Prince Charles and Camilla led the way at last year’s royal church service, but unfortunately, Her Majesty (below) was too unwell to attend. IONS CELEBRAT HAM SANDRING AT Above: Meghan with Harry in Toronto. Right: Her mum Doria will experience e a Middleton Christmas!