Christmas time is a time for family, but with the royals, there are a few set rules you’re expected to follow, some of which may prevent you from spending the special day alongside your special somebody.
We’re of course talking about the fact that traditionally, royal family members are not permitted to bring their partners to Christmas Day celebrations at Buckingham Palace before marriage. Kate Middleton, for example, wasn’t invited to the special festive lunch until 2011 when she was married to Prince William, despite having been in a relationship with him for several years.
However, in 2017, everything changed with Meghan Markle was allowed to come along, despite not yet being married to Prince Harry (her wedding was shortly afterwards however). This ultimately seems to have set a precedent which saw Princess Beatrice permitted to bring her partner Edoardo Mapelli – with whom she is engaged to – in 2019. The pair enjoyed a Christmas day lunch with the Queen, and other members of the royal family including The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Speaking of the decision involving The Duchess of Sussex, Royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams told express.co.uk back in 2017:
‘In 2010 Kate was not invited to do so after her engagement to William nor was Mike Tindall after his to the Princess Royal’s daughter Zara Phillips and only spouses and close family are usually invited.’
He continued, explaining there may have been a specific reason why Meghan was first allowed to break the traditional rule: ‘However Harry and Meghan will be living together at Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace and her family are in the United States. The monarchy relies heavily on precedent and tradition but it also makes its own.”
Daily Mail‘s royal correspondent, Rebecca English, commented that ‘the gesture is also a sign of how the 93-year-old royal is moving with the times,’ when discussing Beatrice’s invitation extension this year.