Party at Grandma’s — and everyone’s invited!
Meghan Markle took part in an annual royal tradition when she joined fiancé Prince Harry and her future in-laws Prince William and Kate Middleton for Queen Elizabeth’s annual pre-Christmas lunch at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday.
They joined more than 50 royal family members for lunch at the palace — including Prince Charles, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Princess Eugenie (who was one of the first to arrive), Princess Beatrice and Zara and Mike Tindall.
William, Kate and their children Prince George and Princess Charlotte arrived together. George wore a blue wool jacket from Amaia — the same one he wore for last year’s lunch — for the special occasion. The family’s nanny, Maria Turin Borrallo, sat with the children in the back seat.William, Kate and their children Prince George and Princess Charlotte arrived together. George wore a blue wool jacket from Amaia — the same one he wore for last year’s lunch — for the special occasion. The family’s nanny, Maria Turin Borrallo, sat with the children in the back seat.
The littlest royals George and Charlotte will no doubt be the center of attention at the lunch. Dad William recently shared 4-year-old George’s wish list for Santa and he took part in his school’s Christmas nativity play — as a sheep!
Inside the palace, Meghan mingled with a daunting array of royals, as all of the Queen’s children were in attendance, along with most of her grandchildren. And while she has already met the Queen a few times, this is thought to be the first time Meghan has had a lunch with the entire family at the palace.
Meghan is meeting much of the extended royal family for the first time as well as being gradually introduced to other members of the household. Last week, the Queen took her and Harry to a private party for staffers at Windsor Castle. “It was a good opportunity for her to get to know the close part of the family as it were,” a family friend says.
“It’s incredible,” Meghan said during the couple’s engagement interview about meeting the Queen. “To be able to meet her through [Harry’s] lens, not just with his honor and respect for her as Monarch, but with the love he has for her as his grandmother. She’s an incredible woman.”
Meghan has won over all of Harry’s family members, especially Will and Kate.
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 herself added of Kate: “She’s been wonderful.”
In 2010, then royal-bride-to-be Kate joined William for the annual event that takes place before the Queen heads off for her seasonal holiday. Three years later, they brought their son, George, for his very first Christmas party with the royal family.
The party is an annual affair for the entire family, with dozens of people attending the lunch. A smaller gathering will be held on Christmas Day at the Queen’s country home in Norfolk, Sandringham House.
This article originally appeared on PEOPLE.