Christmas With The Royal Family 'On The Cards' For Meghan Markle

It's always nerve-wracking spending Christmas with the in-laws early in a relationship, but it's probably even more stressful if your fiancée's parents are royalty.

According to a report in the Sunday Times, Prince Harry's newly-engaged partner Meghan Markle will brave the butterflies and become the first royal fiancée to spend Christmas Eve with the Queen.

"Now they are engaged it was unthinkable that they would be apart for Christmas," a friend of the prince told the paper. "The royal family have fully welcomed Meghan into the fold."

Kensington Palace, which represents Harry as well as his brother Prince William and sister-in-law Kate Middleton, declined to comment on the report.

Meghan Markle Nottingham Visit
Meghan Markle leaves after visiting a school with her fiancee Britain's Prince Harry in Nottingham, December 1, 2017. Markle will reportedly spend Christmas with the royal family. Hannah McKay/Reuters

The paper said that Harry and Meghan may stay with William and Kate in Anmer Hall, their Norfolk home near to the Queen's country retreat at Sandringham. They would then join the royal family each day.

According to Visit Britain, the royal Christmas gathering at Sandringham usually includes about 25 guests. Family arrive on Christmas Eve, with the most important family member—currently heir to the throne Prince Charles—turning up last.

Guests join in with decorating the tree, exchange gifts, and play charades. Visit Britain claims that "'Grow your own girlfriend' kits, padded loo seats and rubber chickens have all raised a right royal chuckle" as novelty gifts in the past.

Christmas day is more formal, and can include as many as seven changes of outfit, covering church, dog walks, and different mealtimes.

The Queen generally also hosts a larger pre-Christmas celebration at Buckingham Palace, with up to 50 guests participating.

The Royals' Christmas traditions have changed over the years. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, for example, would spend it at Windsor Castle. Victoria was also the first monarch to make gift-giving a major part of the occasion.

The first king to serve turkey for Christmas lunch was the feast-loving Henry VIII. But the bird wouldn't have been lonely; also featuring on the menu was swan, goose, venison and peacock.