Meghan Markle is gearing up for her second Christmas at Sandringham, the first she'll attend with Prince Harry as an official member of the Royal Family and with their "little bump" in tow. And while she surely missed her mom Doria Ragland back home in 2017, it seems the Queen may have eased her worries this year by adding an extra seat at the festive table for the California resident!
According to The Express, the unprecedented invitation has never been extended to other royal in-laws - but for a practical reason. "It's a mark of the Queen's respect for Meghan and an acknowledgement that she doesn't have any other relations in this country - unlike Kate who has the support of a very close family," said a senior royal source, who called the move a "a very thoughtful gesture."
The 62-year-old may be considering an extended stay across the pond as her daughter prepares to welcome Baby Sussex, having left her job as a social worker in May. When Meghan's pregnancy was announced at the start of her royal tour with Prince Harry, 34, Doria said in a statement that she's "very happy about this lovely news and is looking forward to welcoming her first grandchild" - a milestone for which she'd want to be near her daughter, with whom she has a very close relationship.
Meghan curtsied to the Queen in public for the first time last year at Sandringham
Doria has already enjoyed some quality time with her new royal relatives. After having tea with the Queen at Windsor ahead of her daughter's royal wedding, she was also seen happily chatting with Prince Charles and Camilla outside the chapel following the nuptials before the two women linked arms with the future king to walk down the stairs. Spending the holidays at the monarch's Norfolk home would allow her to forge an even stronger bond with her son-in-law's family, getting a glimpse of their fun-filled holiday traditions and lavish meals.
The longtime yogi reportedly visited the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in August for an extended stay at their Cotswolds home, according to royal correspondent Omid Scobie. "Doria is said to enjoy a close relationship with Harry and continues to be a pillar of strength for Meghan," he added. She returned in September to support her daughter as she launched her first solo charity project, Together: Our Community Cookbook, where she said she was "head over heels" proud of her little girl. This is also thought to be the time when the couple revealed their exciting baby news!