By Jamie Ducharme
December 25, 2017

The royal family, in keeping with tradition, spent Christmas Day at Sandringham, Queen Elizabeth II’s estate north of London — and this year, the clan was joined by soon-to-be royal Meghan Markle, who accompanied Prince Harry to the family’s customary holiday church service.

Markle, clad in a beige coat and a brown fascinator, entered Sandringham’s St. Mary Magdalene Church alongside her fiancé, Prince William and a five-months-pregnant Kate Middleton and Prince Charles, CNN reports. As is customary, the queen — who missed the service last year due to a heavy cold — led the family into the church.

 

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry attend Christmas Day Church service at Church of St Mary Magdalene on December 25, 2017 in King's Lynn, England.
Chris Jackson—Getty Images

While the royal family attends a Christmas Day service at Sandringham every year, it’s unusual that someone who has not yet married into clan would get the invitation, according to CNN. But that didn’t stop hundreds of revelers and well-wishers from gathering to glimpse the royals as they entered the church, with some lining up as early as 2:40 a.m. local time, according to the BBC.

The announcement that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry would join the rest of the family for Christmas festivities also attracted quite a few Americans — and sparked at least a couple proposals. Two couples, one from Texas and one from Wisconsin, got engaged outside the church on Monday, the BBC reports.

While the royal family makes its traditional public appearance on Dec. 25, holiday celebrations reportedly begin the day before, with gifts and a formal dinner, according to People. After the church service, the royals enjoy a turkey lunch and gather to watch the queen’s Christmas Day address.

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