The holidays will allegedly be a little bit different for Meghan Markle this year. Unlike most people who celebrate Christmas, the new Duchess of Sussex reportedly won’t open gifts on Christmas morning.

Why? Because of tradition, of course! According to the royal family website, “On Christmas Eve, The Royal Family lay out their presents on trestle tables and will exchange their gifts at teatime.” How lovely?!

But even though Meghan’s traditions will reportedly be changing, the Queen made sure to keep one special thing the same for her: spending the holiday with her mother. According to Grazia, Elizabeth invited Meghan’s mom, Doria Ragland, to the three days of their festivities at Sandringham.

Royal insiders revealed that (even though Kate Middleton’s parents, Carole and Michael Middleton, have never been invited) inviting Doria was a way for her to embrace Meg’s family. “The Queen wants Meghan to have her mother there, especially as she is pregnant,” the source shared.


Ingrid Seward, royal expert and Editor-In-Chief of Majesty Magazine said, according to Grazia: “It is unusual for an outsider to be invited, but the royal family does change. I’m sure the royals will do everything in their power to make Doria feel at home.” Luckily for Doria, there will reportedly be no pressure on her that day as well. “Doria will be excused if she gets protocol wrong because’she’s American,” Ingrid added. “She won’t be expected to know when to curtsey.”

So, what can Doria expect from her first Christmas with the royal family? “A strict timetable, a large number of outfit changes, and a minefield of protocol and tradition,” Ingrid revealed. “Doria will arrive on Christmas Eve. After her luggage is unloaded, there will be a present-giving ceremony after tea. The presents are laid out in the drawing room on trestle tables covered with white linen tablecloths. There will be an order of precedence, bur the gifts won’t be extravagant. There are mainly useful things, such as homemade jams, China or curios bought from country fairs.” Then comes the fun part: “Then it will be time for some lethal martinis and a black-tie dinner.”

At dinner, Doria won’t be sitting with the Queen. “There’s a really careful old-fashioned placement, which the Queen does herself,” Ingrid added. “It’s always boy-girl-boy-girl.” So interesting!

Ben STANSALL/Getty Images

The royal family seemingly has a big day on Christmas Eve because they have concrete plans on Christmas morning. “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,” their website states.

After the mid-morning church service, they allegedly then gather for a turkey lunch. “Guests are expected to enter the dining room in order of seniority,” Ingrid added. “Then the head chef carves the turkey and, after lunch, the crackers are pulled. Paper hats are donned, but not by the Queen.”

After lunch comes the Queen’s televised speech and a brisk walk. Before the candlelit dinner on Christmas, guests will enjoy gargantuan iced cake and tea. Boxing Day (the day after Christmas) will allegedly not require the presence of Doria and Meghan “unless they wish to.” Honestly, it sounds like a fun few days — we’ll keep an eye out for our invite!

Join our Facebook group for the latest updates on Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle, and all things royal!