Christmas with the future in-laws may not seem out of the ordinary, but for the royal family, it’s a total break in tradition.
This holiday season, Meghan Markle will become the first royal fiancée to spend Christmas Day with the royal family — making her the exception to traditional protocol. Prince William and Kate Middleton, for example, spent Christmas apart, despite announcing their engagement in November 2010.
But what Harry asks, the Queen is likely to grant. A family friend has told PEOPLE, “If Harry asks for something, the Queen would say yes as she adores him.”
From hand-holding to private meetings with the Queen, Meghan has blazed her own path since entering Prince Harry’s world last year. While there’s no official rule restricting PDA, royals usually refrain from holding hands while on official engagements. But Meghan and Harry don’t hold back when it comes to showing their affection for one another.
“It certainly makes a statement,” Myka Meier, the founder and director of Beaumont Etiquette and expert on all things proper in the royal family, tells PEOPLE. “To show PDA as a representative of the British monarchy at such an official event says everything! Rarely in the past have we seen unmarried royals showing PDA with significant others at a public event.
And Meghan has already met Harry’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, on a few occasions, notably winning over her beloved corgis.
“The corgis took to her straight away. ‘I’ve spent the last 33 years being barked at — this one walks in, absolutely nothing,” Prince Harry revealed during the couple’s engagement interview. And Meghan, who has two dogs herself, replied: “They were laying on my feet during tea!”
She’s won her way into the hearts of the rest of the family, too.
Harry said: “William was longing to meet her and so was Catherine, so you know being our neighbors we managed to get that in a couple of – well quite a few times now and Catherine has been absolutely amazing, as has William as well, you know, fantastic support.”
Meghan then added of Kate: “She’s been wonderful.”
The couple has also had a few visits with Harry’s father, Prince Charles.
“A handful of teas and meetings and all sorts of gatherings over at his place as well,” Harry said. “So the family together have been a solid support and my grandparents as well have been wonderful throughout this whole process and they’ve known for quite some time. So how they – how they haven’t told anybody is – is again a miracle in itself. But now the whole family have come together and have been a huge amount of support.
Meghan added: “They’ve been amazing.”
In addition to attending church with the royal family on Christmas morning, she will spend the festivities as a guest of Queen Elizabeth.
That means Meghan will share Christmas lunch and gift-giving on Christmas Eve at Sandringham House, in Norfolk – the Queen’s country home and estate about 110 miles north of London.
The palace would not confirm any other details including where Meghan may stay. It has been suggested that Prince William, 35, and Kate Middleton, 35, will host them at Anmer Hall, which is on the estate and only about two miles from the main house. So, Meghan will likely get to spend Christmas morning with little Prince George, 4, and Princess Charlotte, 2.
And if she wants to get in good with her future nephew, we hear George wants a police car for Christmas!