Christmas is a time for tradition in most families—and even more so for a the royal family, who’s known for being steeped in tradition every time of year. But yet again, Meghan Markle and husband Prince Harry seem to be shaking things up.
Rumor has it that Queen Elizabeth II invited Meghan’s mom, Doria Ragland, to spend Christmas with the royal family this year. Holiday festivities are an event that few outside the royals’ inner circle have the privilege of participating in. Even Kate Middleton’s family is typically only invited for the church service and not the entire day’s celebrations. These are 10 holiday traditions the royal family does every year.
Ragland has been gearing up to move to England to be closer to her daughter while Meghan is pregnant, and the gesture of inviting her to Christmas is apparently a warm welcome. “It’s a mark of the Queen’s respect for Meghan and an acknowledgement that she doesn’t have any other relations in this country—unlike Kate, who has the support of a very close family,” a senior royal source reportedly told the Daily Express.
Meghan already broke Christmas tradition once by attending the royal family’s celebrations last year as Prince Harry’s fiancee, which was unusual for someone who had not married into the family yet. Kate Middleton, by contrast, spent Christmas with her own family the year she was engaged to Prince William.
“Now that they are engaged it was unthinkable that they would be apart for Christmas,” a friend of Prince Harry’s told The Times last year. “The royal family have fully welcomed Meghan into the fold.”
If this year’s rumor turns out to be true, Meghan’s mom will take part in some of the royal family’s most festive holiday traditions, including a black tie dinner and full English breakfast.
Something tells us the Duchess of Sussex won’t get dinged for this slight departure from tradition, though. Why, you ask? Here are 12 more times the royal family has broken their own protocol.