Meghan Markle has joined fiancé Prince Harry at the royal family’s traditional Christmas lunch at Buckingham Palace.
The pair were accompanied by more than 50 royal family members, including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall and Queen Elizabeth, who traditionally hosts the festive lunch before leaving for her private Sandringham estate for the holidays.
Harry and Meghan were snapped driving out of Kensington Palace and into Buckingham Palace in a Land Rover on Thursday morning.
Meghan’s appearance at the Buckingham Palace function was another indication of how quickly she has been accepted into the royal family ahead of next year’s wedding.
The couple looked relaxed as they passed waiting photographers, with the prince smartly dressed behind the wheel in a suit, shirt and tie, and the former Suits actress wearing a high-necked dress by London label Self Portrait.
The ‘Nightshade Midi Dress’, with a black lace top with pink and white details and a solid black skirt, sold out after Meghan was seen in it.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived soon after in a separate car with their children Prince George and Princess Charlotte in the back seat with the family’s nanny Maria Theresa Borrallo. William was driving.
Other guests driven through the palace gates were the Prince and Princess Michael of Kent and their daughter Lady Gabriella Windsor.
Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie were also spotted arriving for the lunch by car as were the Duchess of Gloucester and Princess Alexandra.
The event is thought to be the first time Meghan has had a lunch with the extended royal family at the palace in an opportunity to meet Harry’s more distant relatives.
Meghan is also set to join the royal family for festivities at Sandringham on Christmas day. She will be the first royal fiancée to spend Christmas at the Queen’s estate.
Harry and Meghan will be married on May 19 at Windsor Castle’s St George’s Chapel, a month after William and Kate are expecting the birth of their third child.
– with wires