Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, Kate and Prince William at Sandringham for Christmas last year (Image: GETTY)
It may not be her first time at Sandringham for Christmas, but Meghan is still receiving advice so she does not put a foot wrong now she is Duchess of Sussex. Meghan will join her husband Prince Harry at the Queen’s Norfolk estate, after already spending Christmas in Sandringham last year, despite not being married to Harry at the time. The pair will attend St Mary Magdalene Church with the Queen, Prince William and Kate, and other members of the Royal Family for a Christmas Day service, before heading back to the royal estate for a traditional dinner and games.
But before Christmas Day activities get underway, Meghan and Harry will receive a very important phone call.
The Queen’s Equerry informs royals a week before Christmas what time they must arrive at Sandringham House, and in what order.
As with official events, royal protocol insists the Queen and Prince Philip are the last to arrive as they are the most senior members of the Royal Family.
Guests are placed in order of seniority and importance, with the most junior royals arriving first.
Prince Harry and Meghan are likely to arrive alongside Prince William and Kate, closely followed by Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall.
All royals then line up to welcome the Queen and Prince Philip.
A similar process is carried out in public on Christmas Day when the royals stand outside St Mary Magdalene to curtsy and bow to the Queen as she steps out of church.
After lunch, the royals will then exchange gifts – but there are rules about this too.
Meghan Markle has become close to the Queen this year (Image: GETTY)
Presents must not be expensive, and they often veer to novelty, joke gifts, with Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge one year even buying Prince Harry a ‘grow your own girlfriend’ kit.
Once presents have been exchanged, the royals settle down to a game of Charades, a particular favourite of the Queen’s.
The Queen and Prince Philip will stay at Sandringham until early February, with decorations remaining in place until then.
As well as the Cambridges and the Sussexes, the Yorks will be in attendance.
Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie attend the festivities every year with their father Prince Andrew.
Meghan and Harry have taken on increasing roles in the Royal Family since their wedding (Image: REUTERS)
But Sarah Ferguson does not get an invitation after divorcing Andrew, despite the pair living together.
She revealed earlier this month she watches her children on the news every year.
It has also been suggested William and Kate could miss the Christmas celebrations at Sandringham to go to Kate’s parents.
Her brother James Middleton said last week that Christmas is a time to “regroup” with family, hinting he and his two sisters Kate and Pippa could reunite.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge also broke away from the royals to spend the festivities with the Middletons 140 miles away in Bucklebury in 2016.