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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Will Not Be Together on Christmas Morning

Updated on April 21, 2019
revmjm profile image

Margaret Minnicks is an online writer who writes about the royal family.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will celebrate their first Christmas together as a married couple and their last Christmas together before becoming parents. However, they will not spend the first part of Christmas morning together unless they break an archaic royal rule.

It is customary for families to be together on Christmas morning to exchange and open gifts. However, that is not the tradition for the royal family. They will open their presents on Christmas Eve and not on Christmas morning. Therefore, they do not have to rush downstairs to be together. In fact, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, as well as other married royal couples, do not spend the first hours of Christmas Day together. They do get together a little later in the day.

Rule Affects All the Royals

Royal butler and etiquette expert Grant Harrold said the separation of men and women on Christmas morning is an old tradition that the royal family has kept for years.

Former royal chef Darren McGrady explained what Christmas morning is like for the royal family. He said it is a tradition for all the female royals to be separated from the male royals. The females stay in their bedrooms and have breakfast delivered to them while the male royals will go downstairs to the dining room for a hearty breakfast at 8.30 a.m.

Even the meals are different for men and women. On Christmas morning, men are served a full course breakfast consisting of bacon, sausage, kippers, mushrooms, grilled kidneys, cereals, and juices. The royal women are served a much lighter breakfast that includes a boiled egg, half a grapefruit, toast, fruit, and coffee.

After their separate breakfasts, everyone gets ready for the first of two church services they will attend together.

Other Royal Christmas Rules

The entire royal family, with the exception of Prince William, Kate Middleton, and their three children, is expected to spend Christmas at Sandringham Estate in Norfolk. The Queen spends every Christmas there at her country home.

There is a set pattern of events and activities the family takes part in every year.

  • Queen Elizabeth usually arrives anytime between December 17 and December 20 before everyone else to oversee the preparation for the holiday.
  • The royal family celebrates Christmas over three consecutive days from December 24 through December 26.
  • Guests are given different times to arrive on Christmas Eve.
  • They have a formal dinner and family exchanges gag gifts on Christmas Eve.
  • There are a series of events that take place on Christmas Day, including two church services, several meals and listening to Queen Elizabeth's annual speech.
  • Everyone has to weigh in before Christmas dinner and again after dinner to assure that everyone has been well fed.
  • The Queen and her husband Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, usually stay at Sandringham until the second week in February to honor the Queen's father, George VI, who died from lung cancer at Sandringham on February 6, 1952.
  • Christmas decorations stay up until the Queen leaves the premises. In other words, she is the first one to arrive at Sandringham and the last one to depart.

Duke and Duchess' Family Christmas Card 2018
Duke and Duchess' Family Christmas Card 2018

Reasons This Christmas Will Be a Little Different

This year, Christmas will be a little different for the royal family. First of all, Prince William, Kate Middleton, and their three children will not be at Sandringham. They alternate where they will spend Christmas each year. This is the year to spend the day in Berkshire with Kate's parents.

Carole Middleton told the Sunday Telegraph's Stella magazine that she has already put individual fir trees in Prince George and Princess Charlotte's bedrooms at their family’s almost $6 million mansion for the children to decorate themselves.

The second reason Christmas will be slightly different is that for the first time Queen Elizabeth has invited a commoner to spend Christmas with the royal family. Meghan's mother, Doria Ragland has been invited to spend the holiday with her daughter and the rest of the royals.

Even though Meghan was a commoner last Christmas, she was engaged to marry Prince Harry. Queen Elizabeth made an exception for her to be there since she had no nearby relatives to spend the holiday with. She didn't officially become a royal until she married Prince Harry on May 19, 2018.

Last year, it was Meghan who attended the celebrations. This year, Meghan's mother has been added to the list. Next year, the child of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be the newest addition to the family.

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    • revmjm profile imageAUTHOR

      Margaret Minnicks 

      5 months ago from Richmond, VA

      Jean, the royal family does have a lot of strict rules to follow. All members of the family, including the men, have to weigh before and after dinner on Christmas Day to determine if they have been well fed.

      Another rule is that when Queen Elizabeth stop eating, everyone else has to stop eating as well whether they are finished or not. That is not just on Christmas Day but every time they eat with her.

    • Jean Bakula profile image

      Jean Bakula 

      5 months ago from New Jersey

      It must be hard to follow all these rules! I don't see why married couples can't have breakfast together on Christmas morning. And the ladies aren't getting much food, is the Queen worried about their weight?

    • profile image


      5 months ago

      I don’t see why the men and women have different meals on Christmas

    • revmjm profile imageAUTHOR

      Margaret Minnicks 

      5 months ago from Richmond, VA

      Tim, I guess every family has Christmas traditions, but the royal family has some that many people don't understand. I don't see the point of the men and women eating breakfast separately on Christmas morning.

    • Tim Truzy info4u profile image

      Tim Truzy 

      5 months ago from U.S.A.

      Wonderful article, Margaret. They do have many rules to follow. I was surprised to see Meghan's mother received an invitation. It's interesting why the men and women eat separately on Christmas Day,.

      enjoyed it immensely.

      Thanks, Margaret for a well written and interesting article about the Royals' Christmas.



    • manunulat profile image

      Jason M Quinapondan 

      5 months ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Interesting and informative article. Thanks, Margaret for giving me a peek at the life being part of a royal family... :)


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