Meghan Markle will have to alter her Christmas traditions now that she is the Duchess of Sussex. Most importantly, she will have to abstain from something she has likely been doing her entire life during this holiday.
Markle won’t get to open presents on Christmas Day, meaning that the rush to get down the stairs to see what Santa brought will likely be out of the picture for the child she is carrying.
Per the royal family’s official website, the family opens presents the day before the traditional holiday, during afternoon tea.
“On Christmas Eve, The Royal Family lay out their gifts on trestle tables and will exchange their gifts at teatime,” said the site.
Cosmopolitan reported that former royal chef Darren McGrady confirms, saying that the tradition has its roots in Germany.
“The royals are of German descent so they weave in German traditions to their celebrations. After afternoon tea, they open gifts on Christmas Eve, as is the German tradition,” said McGrady.
Christmas morning is a time reserved to attend church services.
“The Queen and other members of The Royal Family attend the morning service on Christmas Day at St Mary Magdalene, Sandringham, a country church visited by The Queen’s Great-Great-Grandmother Queen Victoria, which dates back to the 16th century,” said the site.
The duchess was allowed to stay at Sandringham in 2017 before marrying into the royal family on May 19, 2018, a move unheard of for the palace.
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Markle’s mother Doria Ragland will also be allowed to join in on Queen Elizabeth’s festivities this December.
“The Queen was very impressed by Mrs. Ragland when they met,” a royal source told Vanity Fair.
“The Queen knows that Meghan’s family situation is complicated and that the easiest way for Meghan and Harry to be together and with Doria, which is what they want, is for them all to join her at Sandringham. It’s not the norm but then things seem to have changed quite a lot recently.”
The royal family also traditionally visits their “country house” in Norfolk, England, every year, as reported by Good Housekeeping, with the Queen making the journey by public train about a week before Christmas.
Prince William and Prince Harry will also team up with estate workers to play soccer against nearby villagers for charity, reported the site. The family will also exchange gag gifts, which is a huge royal tradition that happens on Christmas Eve.
The queen’s nephew Viscount Linley alleges that Prince Harry once gave his grandmother a shower cap with the phrase “Ain’t life a b*tch” on it, reported Good Housekeeping.
Markle and Prince Harry will welcome their first child in 2019.