6 American Holiday Traditions Meghan Markle Won't Be Able To Do
The holiday season is a time to enjoy traditions that have been celebrated for years on end. We all get a bit upset if the holiday rituals we've enjoyed since we were kids get disrupted (What do you mean I can't run around playing with my presents and actually have to help make lunch?!), so put in a thought for the American holiday traditions Meghan Markle, now Duchess of Sussex, can no longer take part in. Her holidays are now going to be spent with one of the most traditional families in the entire world, where the festive season is meant to run like clockwork and protocol must be followed at all times.
The Queen has actually relaxed quite a lot of rules for Meghan over the holidays, including the rumor that she's invited Meghan's mother Doria Ragland to spend Christmas with them at royal residence Sandringham (formerly a massive no-no, according to Vanity Fair). However, there are various traditions that Meghan will likely not experience at the royal household, from the traditional post-lunch movie, to the emphasis on turkey and stuffing. Now that Meghan is part of the family, though perhaps she'll start injecting a dose of Americana into the celebrations, and give them a taste of eggnog and It's A Wonderful Life.
1. Spend Christmas Morning In Her Pajamas
Members of the Royal Family usually attend the Christmas morning mass at St. Mary Magdalene on the estate at Sandringham. It's a huge photo opportunity and means that any chance of spending the morning opening presents, eating chocolate coins, and lounging in one's pajamas is strictly verboten. The royals actually attend two services: a private one at 9 a.m. and a public one at 11 a.m. Anything less than serious medical emergencies, and Meghan will definitely have to put in an appearance.
2. Make Christmas Lunch The Main Meal Of The Day
According to ex-royal chef Darren McGrady, the royal Christmas doesn't prioritize Christmas lunch in the way that Americans traditionally do. Instead, the day involves a big breakfast, a giant lunch involving two 25 lb turkeys, then afternoon tea with cake, scones and sandwiches, and after that a dinner buffet involving whole wheels of cheese and cold goodies from Harrod's. And, of course, Meghan won't be able to cook any of it herself; royals are kept strictly out of the kitchen.
3. Take That Delightful Post-Lunch Nap
Post-lunch, it's not actually an option at Christmas for Meghan to fulfil the great American tradition of putting on Netflix in the background of a nap. Instead, the royal family either does puzzles, goes for walks around the estate, or plays charades. An utterly unsubstantiated rumor came out that Meghan had been asked to "tone down" her acting skills so as not to "upset" the Queen at Charades — which is very unlikely, as apparently the Queen herself is an amazing mimic and the Queen Mother once did an Ali G rap at the Christmas table.
4. Watch "It's A Wonderful Life" While Digesting
For It's A Wonderful Life, insert any other traditional movie that happens to be on TV post-3 p.m., one everybody knows so well they can basically recite it: Miracle On 34th St, The Santa Clause, or any other kind of Christmas classic. Nope. The English royal family must watch the Queen's Christmas address to the nation, which has been pre-taped, on TV at 3 p.m. sharp. In the evening, a film night does sometimes happen — in a room completely filled with swords and war memorabilia, fitted out with a projector and screen.
5. Drink Eggnog
6. Party To Welcome In The New Year
Not much of a chance of staying up late to welcome in 2018 for Meghan. If she and Harry are still staying at Sandringham at the end of the year, they'll witness the New Year's Day hunt. The Queen and Prince Philip host pheasant shoots and horse riding around the estate in Sandringham to mark Jan. 1 every year. Otherwise, they'll be expected to stay quietly indoors; being seen dancing in the street as the fireworks begin for the new year is Not The Done Thing for royals.
While Meghan is leaving a lot of American holiday traditions behind, she's also getting an insight into one of the most ancient sets of ritual around the holidays in the world. But let's face it, the food sounds kind of amazing.