Everything you need to know about the Queen's pre-Christmas lunch this week

By Meaghan Wray

One of their most exciting years to date may be coming to a close, but the Royal Family has many things to look forward to in 2019, from Baby Sussex arriving in the spring to ringing in Prince Louis’ first birthday! But first, they’ll gather for a holiday season filled with traditions (some dating back to the Queen’s childhood!), starting with the pre-Christmas lunch at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday (Dec. 17).

The Buckingham Palace Christmas tree is beautiful every year! Photo: © Getty Images

The festive feast for more than 50 family members kicks off the royal holiday season, and fans will only get a glimpse of Prince William and Kate, Prince Harry and Meghan and more driving themselves into the palace – no photos are released from inside the event. Prince Andrew, Princess Beatrice, Prince Charles and Camilla, Prince Michael of Kent, the Duke of Gloucester and Lady Amelia Windsor are all among the family members set to join in on the fun. It’s a great opportunity for the extended family, those who won’t be spending Christmas at Sandringham, to get together and enjoy each other’s company!

Last year, the Duchess of Sussex made a very exciting debut following the announcement of her engagement to Prince Harry. She looked happy to be joining her future husband’s family and perfectly on-trend in the “high-necked lace dress” by Self Portrait. This year, she’ll surely be clad in an equally stylish maternity look as the couple prepares to welcome their first child early this spring.

Meghan stunned in a Self Portrait gown. Photo: © Getty Images

This year’s lunch will also be particularly exciting as two new family members will have seats at the table! The youngest of the Cambridge clan, Prince Louis, will make his debut, as well as Princess Eugenie’s husband, Jack Brooksbank, who married into the family on Oct. 12. Her Majesty typically gathers extended family members for the meal just before leaving for Sandringham Estate with Prince Philip, where they’ll enjoy some rest and relaxation until the beginning of February.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge typically take up residence at Anmer Hall, their country home nearby, and sometimes join Kate’s parents, Carole and Michael Middleton, in Berkshire. But this year, the family of five will ring in the holiday season in Norfolk, along with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who are celebrating their first Christmas as a married couple.

The duchess attended the lunch in 2017. Photo: © Getty Images

There will be plenty for the Royal Family to reminisce about at this milestone Christmas after a year that saw not one, but two royal weddings and welcomed a new royal baby into the fold. It will also be made extra special if Doria Ragland makes the trip across the pond to join her daughter’s family for the holidays.

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