Meghan Markle, Prince Harry Arrive For Pre-Christmas Lunch With The Royal Family At Buckingham

Frank AugsteinAP Images

The Christmas festivities have officially begun for the royal family this week. Earlier today, members of the royal family were spotted entering the Buckingham Palace for the annual Christmas Lunch with Queen Elizabeth II. Prince Harry arrived with his fiancée, Meghan Markle, as did Prince Harry and Kate Middleton together with their children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

Meghan Markle attended her first pre-Christmas lunch with the royal family at the Buckingham Palace on December 20, Wednesday. Aside from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their kids, also in attendance are more than 50 other royal family members, including Prince Charles, Camilla Parker-Bowles, Princess Eugenie, Princess Beatrice, and Zara and Mike Tindall.

Members of the extended family were also present, including the Queen’s cousin Prince Michael of Kent, his wife Princess Michael, and their daughter Lady Gabriella Windsor, the Daily Mail reported. Prince George and Princess Charlotte will also have company as young royals Freddie and Maud Windsor, children of Lord Frederick Windsor, also arrived for lunch.

For the event, Meghan wore a stunning black dress with lace detail from London-based contemporary label Self-Portrait. The £300 midi dress features a high neck design with a full A-line skirt for a very feminine touch.

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Although Meghan has met the Queen several times, as well as her future brother and sister-in-law, this is her first time being in the presence of all the Queen’s children and most of her grandchildren. According to People, this is the first time she’s meeting much of the extended royal family.

The Queen has made efforts to gradually introduce the American actress to other members of the household ahead of the royal wedding in May 2018. Recently, Meghan and Harry were invited to join a private party the Queen threw for her staff at Windsor Castle. A family friend said that it was a good opportunity for Meghan to get to know the “close part of the family.”

Later this week, Meghan will join the royal family at Queen Elizabeth’s Sandringham estate on Christmas Day. A source suggested that William and Kate will accommodate Meghan and Harry at Anmer Hall for the duration of the festivities.

Meghan Markle has broken longstanding royal protocol by being the first fiancee to ever be invited for the royal family’s annual Christmas celebration. Traditionally, only members of the royal family are invited. Even Kate Middleton and Princess Diana were not invited to these gatherings when they were still engaged to Prince William and Prince Charles, respectively.