How Meghan Markle’s First Christmas With Prince Harry and the Royals Really Went

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced in November 2017 that they are engaged to be married, and one month later, Markle joined the royal family for their annual Christmas festivities. The reason that was such a huge deal is because it went against royal protocol, as the Suits star is the first fiancée to ever join the family for the holiday.

Prior to her marriage to Prince William, Kate Middleton did not celebrate Christmas with the royals. Neither did Camilla Parker Bowles or the late Princess Diana before they married Prince Charles. Now, everyone is wondering just how things went for Markle during her time with the famous family.

In a radio interview, Prince Harry opened up about how his bride-to-be enjoyed herself while staying with his relatives. Here’s what he had to say.

The couple stayed with Prince William and Princess Kate

Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, (L) and Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, (2L), US actress and fiancee of Britain's Prince Harry Meghan Markle (2R) and Britain's Prince Harry (R) stand together as they wait to see off Britain's Queen Elizabeth II after attending the Royal Family's traditional Christmas Day

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry stayed with Kate Middleton and Prince William. | Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images

Serving as a guest editor on Radio 4, Harry revealed that he and Markle visited the queen at her Sandringham estate and stayed with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge nearby at their Anmer Hall residence. The prince said that Markle had a very good time playing with his nephew, Prince George, and his niece, Princess Charlotte.

“The family loved having her there … We had great fun staying with my brother and sister-in-law and running round with the kids,” Harry shared, adding, “Christmas was fantastic.”

Markle attended church with the entire family

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry attend Christmas Day Church service at Church of St Mary Magdalene

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry greeted the public at Christmas Day church service. | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Markle and Prince Harry joined the rest of the royal family in attending St. Mary Magdalene Church. A large crowd of well-wishers, including many Americans who made the trip, gathered outside hoping to see the couple. Markle waved and said hello to fans with her standard “Hi, I’m Meghan” greeting.

The crowd of onlookers were a bit upset though when Harry said they couldn’t stop to take selfies, which is something he has previously done on occasion, but not something the royals do regularly.

Her fashion choice for the service

Meghan Markle attends Christmas Day Church service at Church of St Mary Magdalene on December 25, 2017

Meghan Markle sported a stylish outfit. | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

As for Markle’s fashion choice for church, she received high marks sporting a long tan Sentaler coat, a brown hat, and caramel-colored suede Stuart Weitzman boots. She completed her look with a leather Chloe pixie bag.

Kate Middleton, who never misses the fashion mark, also looked stylish on the way to mass wearing a black hat and a tartan Miu Miu coat that barely showed her growing baby bump.

How Markle handled the royal holiday traditions

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their engagement on Monday 27th November 2017 and will marry at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle in May 2018. Prince George will be a part of the ceremony.

Prince Harry says his soon-to-be bride handled the royal holiday traditions well. | | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

When it came to the many traditions the royals keep, Harry admitted that he had to teach a few things to his fiancée, but she handled it like a pro.

“I think we’ve got one of the biggest families that I know of, and every family is complex as well,” he said before praising Markle for how she approached everything. “She’s done an absolutely amazing job.”

The ‘family she’s never had’

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during an official photocall to announce the engagement

The prince says the royals are the family that Meghan Markle has never had. | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

The prince continued to gush about how the American actress really fit in with his British relatives, saying that her  interactions with everyone were so great and it was like “the family she never had.”

“She’s getting in there and it’s the family that I suppose she’s never had,” he explained.

What Christmas gifts Markle received

Britain's Prince Harry's fiancee US actress Meghan Markle displays her engagement ring as she greets wellwishers on a walkabout as they arrive for an engagement at Nottingham Contemporary in Nottingham, central England, on December 1, 2017 which is hosting a Terrence Higgins Trust World AIDS Day charity fair.<br />

Meghan Markle exchanged gag gifts with the royal family. | Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty Images

If you’re wondering what Christmas gifts Markle exchanged with the royals, we know they were small, inexpensive presents. The reason for that is because part of the family’s tradition is that instead of buying lavish gifts for one another every year, they opt for cheap gag gifts.

We do, however, know what William and Kate’s son, George, got for Christmas. The little prince sent a note to Santa, explaining that he was “nice” the whole year and asked for a toy police car. Since George was so good, he got that present on Christmas.

 Looking forward to 2018

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle engagement photo

The couple is looking forward to the year ahead. | Kensington Royal via Instagram

Overall, Harry said that the holiday was “fantastic” and now, he is ready for a happy 2018 with Markle. “We’re looking forward to the new year, because I’m determined that myself and the younger generation, the pendulum is going to swing in 2018, and it’s going to be a fantastic year,” he said.

The pair will be married on May 19.

Follow Michelle Kapusta on Twitter @philamichelle.

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