10 Royal Christmas Traditions Meghan Markle Will Follow

She better be prepared for a gag gift.

meghan markle
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Now that Meghan Markle's a future duchess, her holidays are about to get way more regal too. The royal fiancée's Christmas plans haven't been confirmed yet, but some experts predict she'll break protocol and join in on the Queen's festivities this year.

"Now they are engaged it was unthinkable that they would be apart for Christmas," an unnamed friend of Prince Harry's told the Sunday Times. "The royal family have fully welcomed Meghan into the fold."

That said, tradition usually dictates that unmarried partners of royalty wait to join in until after the wedding. Kate Middleton didn't stay with Prince William over the holidays during their engagement back in 2010, so it's possible Meghan Markle observes the same formalities.

Either way, she'll undoubtedly spend plenty of future Christmases with her new in-laws. Here's what she can expect for her first holiday with the royal family.

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She'll travel to Sandringham.
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The royal family traditionally visits their "country house" in Norfolk, England, every year, with the Queen typically making the journey by public train about a week before Christmas. The estate is actually smaller than most royal residences, so only the Queen's closest family usually receives invites. 

She'll watch a soccer match.
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Prince William and Prince Harry recently started a new custom of their own, teaming up with estate workers to play nearby villagers for charity. The event usually includes some trash talk, with Prince William once asking a ref to give his brother a yellow card! 

She'll attend Christmas Eve tea.
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After the athletic antics, the royals reconvene back at the estate for an afternoon tea. As the adults munch on scones and jam penny sandwiches, the little ones usually add decorations to the Christmas tree — a Norfolk spruce felled on the estate — in the White Drawing Room, according to PopSugar. 

She'll exchange gag gifts.
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Just because they're royal doesn't mean the Mountbattens don't have a sense of humor. After tea, the mood turns into a "total uproar" as they exchange jokey gifts, according to the Queen's nephew Viscount Linley. Prince Harry once reportedly gave his grandmother a shower cap with the phrase "Ain't life a b*tch" on it!" 

She'll says "cheers" on Christmas Eve.
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While the black-tie dinner on Christmas Eve sounds more formal, the Queen is known to read out corny jokes from the Christmas crackers and indulge in Dubonnet-and-gin cocktails. Servants also pour cherry brandy and cider that's made on the estate. 

She'll attend two church services
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Hopefully no one had too much to drink, because there's an early wake-up call the next morning. The family first attends a private service at 9 a.m. when the Queen takes communion, and then heads back to the church of St Mary Magdalene for public worship at 11 a.m. Last year Prince George and Princess Charlotte scored candy canes. 

She'll eat a big lunch.
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After church, the royals go back and tuck into their main meal: a lunch of roasted turkey, traditional sides and Christmas pudding, according to former royal chef Darren McGrady

She'll listen to the Queen's speech.
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During the afternoon, it's time to listen to the Queen's annual Christmas message that's broadcast around the world. This year, the monarch's expected to congratulate her grandson and his bride-to-be. It's definitely news worth celebrating!

She'll try her hand at charades
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Following a lighter buffet dinner, evening activities include charades, jigsaw puzzles, or a movie projected onto a screen in the ballroom. The Queen's apparently does excellent impressions of heads of state she's known through the years! 

She'll (possibly) go on a royal shoot.
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Bo Day marks the close of the main festivities, although the Queen will stay on at Sandringham through February. Prince Philip usually hosts a traditional pheasant hunt on the estate, although it's possible Markle, a noted animal lover, will abstain. She may join the Queen for a long walk with her corgis instead. 

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