How Prince William, Kate, Prince Harry and Meghan will spend Christmas originally appeared on goodmorningamerica.com
This Christmas will mark a series of firsts for the young members of Britain's royal family, Prince William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Harry and Meghan will celebrate their first Christmas with their son Archie, who was born last May. The couple is spending the holidays in Canada, according to a spokesperson for the Sussexes. Meghan called Toronto, Canada home for seven years before she became a member of the royal family.
The family of three plans to spend Christmas with Meghan's mother Doria Ragland, marking the first time Harry and Meghan have not spent the holiday with the royal family since their engagement two years ago.
William and Kate and their three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, plan to celebrate Christmas with the royal family at Sandringham, Queen Elizabeth's estate in Norfolk, England, where the Cambridges have a country home.
Prince George, 6, and Princess Charlotte, 4, are expected to join their parents for the first time on the royal family's walk to St. Mary Magdalene Church to attend Christmas Day service together.
Last year William and Kate and Harry and Meghan were photographed making the walk to the church together.
After the service at St. Mary Magdalene Church, the Cambridges and their royal relatives walk back to Sandringham, where they enjoy a Christmas lunch and then gather to watch Queen Elizabeth II deliver her annual Christmas message.
In the evening, the royal family will get together again for a Christmas buffet dinner with 15 to 20 different delicacies prepared by Queen Elizabeth’s chef. A toast is part of the meal, which ranges from roast beef to turkey and ham.
The royal family holds their gift exchange on Christmas Eve, following the German tradition. They often swap funny or homemade gifts.
Kate, who wed Prince William in 2011, reportedly made homemade jam one year as gifts for her royal relatives.
The day after Christmas, known as Boxing Day in the U.K., the royals are expected to partake in a traditional pheasant shoot on the grounds of Sandringham.
William and Kate have sometimes in the past opted out of the royals' Christmas dinner so they can enjoy Christmas evening with Kate's parents, Carole and Michael Middleton, her sister, Pippa Middleton, her brother-in-law, James Matthews, and her brother, James Middleton.
At the Middletons' home in Bucklebury, outside London, the grandchildren, who also include Prince George and Princess Charlotte, each have a Christmas tree in their room “so that they can decorate it themselves," Carole Middleton told the U.K.'s The Telegraph last year.
In-laws are not typically invited to the royals' Christmas celebrations, which is why Harry and Meghan are opting out this year. In 2017, Meghan was the first fiancé in royal history to be invited by Queen Elizabeth to celebrate the Christmas holiday with the royal family at Sandringham.
Harry and Meghan's decision to skip spending the holiday at Sandringham this year has the queen's support, a spokesperson for the Sussexes said last month.
Besides the official news of their private holiday in Canada, it is not known if Harry and Meghan will celebrate Christmas there with Meghan's mom, who is based in Los Angeles, or elsewhere.
The couple has taken extended time off from royal duties over the past two months to enjoy family time away from the spotlight.