PHOTO CREDIT: ANDREW PARSONS
Prince Harry and his American fiancée Meghan Markle arrived arm in arm at the Queen’s Sandringham estate in Norfolk this morning, along with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge – Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton, who is pregnant with their third child.
Prince Philip – the Duke of Edinburgh, who arrived in a car with the Queen and the Prince of Wales, was seen leading the two couples to the estate’s St. Mary Magdalene Church.
The royal fiancée – soon-to-be royal wife of Prince Harry – was wearing a stylish camel-color Sentaler wrap coat (£986), dark brown hat with matching Stuart Weitzman boots and Chloe shoulder bag.
The Duchess of Cambridge looked no less attractive in her £2,665 red and green checked Miu Miu coat.
— Karen Anvil (@Anvilius) December 25, 2017
— Francesca? (@RobronFan09) December 25, 2017
A line stretching all the way down the road in Sandringham, people tell us it is massive turnout today to see the royals especially Harry and Meghan #harryandmeghan #merrycrimbo #Sandringham pic.twitter.com/dk9Zx5DMRp
— Lama Hasan (@LamaHasan) December 25, 2017
Queen Elizabeth II looked elegant and in the pink of health as she acknowledged the crowd with a wave and a smile.
Last year, a “heavy cold” had kept the Queen from attending the annual Christmas day celebration, which she had never missed ever since she began celebrating Christmas at Sandringham in 1988.
Hundreds of admirers of the royal family turned out in the relatively mild weather for a glimpse of their favorite royals and to shout out their Christmas greetings as the royals passed by.
Prince Harry and Markle even stopped to chat up some of the crowd members on their way back to Sandringham House after the service.
Markle looked pretty much at ease as she walked arm in arm with her prince charming at her side, smiling and chatting with Kate who was walking alongside the engaged couple with her own prince at her side.
While it is confirmed that the engaged couple will stay at Nottingham Cottage, for Christmas they will be the guests of Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton at their Anmer Hall home in Norfolk, England.
Having Markle at the royal Christmas celebration, who is not yet Prince Harry’s wife, is a shift from tradition –a clear deviation from royal protocol – agreed to by none other than the Queen herself.
Royal watcher Richard Fitzwilliams told Express.co.uk last month that, “In 2010 Kate was not invited after her engagement to William nor was Mike Tindall after his to Zara Phillips. Only spouses and close family are usually invited. However, Harry and Meghan will be living together at Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace and her family are in the United States. The monarchy relies heavily on precedent and tradition but it also makes its own.”
“Given that Meghan doesn’t have family in the U.K., it’s only right that she spends Christmas with Harry and his,” an Us Magazine source had informed the weekly a few days ago. “Harry asked the queen for permission last month and she is delighted to have Harry bring his fiancée. It is a family occasion, after all, and Meghan is very much family now”
After more than a year of dating, Prince Harry and Markle made their engagement official last month through a Clarence House statement which said:
“His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales is delighted to announce the engagement of Prince Harry to Ms. Meghan Markle.”
The royal statement also confirmed that the wedding will take place in the spring of 2018 and that the couple will live in Nottingham Cottage, Kensington Palace.