It’s Christ­mas with the Queen! Meghan’s sur­prise in­vite

She’s roy­ally ner­vous

Woman’s Day (NZ) - - CONTENTS -

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!

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