Another year, another royal visit to church on Christmas Day. Only this year wasn’t like every other — there was a new addition to the gathering…

Standing happily on the arm of her fiancé, Prince Harry, was Meghan Markle. Dressed in shades of brown — a Sentaler coat, Stewart Weitzman boots, Philip Tracy hat and leather gloves— Meghan seemed happy and relaxed alongside her soon-to-be in-laws as they made their way to St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham for the annual Christmas Day service.

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Once completed, as Queen Elizabeth departed, Meghan stood in line with Harry, Prince William, and Kate Middleton and dutifully gave a very elegant little curtsy (that’s right foot behind left, knees bent, upper body straight).

She and Harry then greeted members of the 200-strong crowd, before returning to Sandringham House for a turkey Christmas lunch.

Meghan’s presence yesterday marked a momentous break with a tradition. Historically, royal finacées have only joined the royal family at Christmas after they have gotten married. That Meghan was fast-tracked indicates firstly how keen the royals are to make her feel welcome and secondly, how traditions of old are gradually starting to relax.

That said, they’re not relaxing entirely. Meghan and Harry are not staying with Elizabeth at her Norfolk mansion, but at Anmer Hall, the nearby home of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. There, Meghan and Harry are expected to have enjoyed a more low-key celebration — alongside little Prince George and Princess Charlotte — although they would have attended the big lunch with the rest of the royals.

Next year, when Meghan officially marries into the family, she and Harry may well be invited to stay with Elizabeth for their first Christmas as man and wife. But for now, a gentle introduction to the great royal tradition. As predicted, Meghan handled it like a pro!

This post originally appeared on our sister site, Now To Love.

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