Monday 19 November 2018

Meghan Markle's first royal Christmas vs Kate Middleton's first appearance in 2011

Meghan Markle, left, and Kate Middleton, right
Meghan Markle, left, and Kate Middleton, right
Meghan Markle leaves the Christmas Day morning church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry leaves the Christmas Day morning church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk
Prince William And Catherine, Duchess Of Cambridge Attend St Mary Magdalene Church, On The Royal Estate In Sandringham, Norfolk For The Christmas Day Church Service. (Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)
Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge (L), arrives to attend the Royal family Christmas Day church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk, eastern England, on December 25, 2011. Britain's Prince Philip missed the royal family's Christmas Day celebrations for the first time as the husband of Queen Elizabeth II remained in hospital after having heart surgery. AFP PHOTO / BEN STANSALL
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge leaves Sandringham Church after the traditional Christmas Day service at Sandringham on December 25, 2011 in King's Lynn, England
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge accepts flowers from members of the crowd as she leaves Sandringham Church after the traditional Christmas Day service at Sandringham on December 25, 2011 in King's Lynn, England
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge leaves Sandringham Church after the traditional Christmas Day service at Sandringham on December 25, 2011 in King's Lynn, England
(L-R) Prince Andrew, Duke of York, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Camilla, Duchess of Conrwall and Prince Harry walk to Sandringham Church for the traditional Christmas Day service at Sandringham on December 25, 2011 in King's Lynn, England
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge walks to Sandringham Church for the traditional Christmas Day service at Sandringham on December 25, 2011 in King's Lynn, England
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attend a Christmas lunch for members of the Royal Family hosted by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace on December 19, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Indigo/Getty Images)
Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry leave St Mary Magdalene's church after the Royal Family's Christmas Day service on the Sandringham estate in eastern England, Britain, December 25, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Caitlin McBride

Caitlin McBride

Prince Harry is enjoying one of the biggest perks of being a younger sibling: the more relaxed rules the eldest had to stick to the first time around.

Meghan Markle made her public debut alongside her future-in-laws, the British royal family on Christmas Day when she shunned protocol by attending their traditional service at Sandringham Estate. She stood side by side with Kate Middleton, who, despite dating Prince William for 10 years before their 2011 wedding, was only allowed to spend Christmas with them when she officially married into the family.

Here are some of the main differences...

Outfits

Meghan continued her tour de high fashion in a camel wrap coat by Canadian designer Sentaler, which retails for €1,000, fighting against the cold in a pair of over the knee suede boots by Stuart Weitzman for €700, a Chloe Pixie bag and a pair of diamond earrings by Maison Birks for €4,000.

While she is being slowly integrated into royal life, it's clear she's sticking to one aspect of her life in which she's most confident - designers she knows. It's expected she'll begin merging British designers into her wardrobe as her public appearances increase, but for now, she's sticking to what she's familiar with.

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Meghan Markle leaves the Christmas Day morning church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk

At this time, Kate's penchant for matching fashions was well established, as was her affinity for a pair of tights, so her burgundy and black combination was a safe bet. She opted for a velvet hat by Jane Corbett and black suede heels by Mascaro and a clutch Mulberry.

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Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge leaves Sandringham Church after the traditional Christmas Day service at Sandringham on December 25, 2011 in King's Lynn, England

Body Language

As has become their new norm, Meghan and Harry were affectionate - the actress was never far from her fiancé's and she linked his arm as they made their way to and from St Magdalene's Church. Kate and William were uncharacteristically holding hands, which is generally frowned upon, but it's believed formalities are lifted as Christmas is seen as a personal time and not one which requires their standard-standing-20-feet-apart-because-they're-at-work stance.

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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry leaves the Christmas Day morning church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk

In 2011, however, there were signs of quiet encouragement from William to his new wife, who was still only eight months into her role as the Duchess of Cambridge at the time.

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Prince William And Catherine, Duchess Of Cambridge Attend St Mary Magdalene Church, On The Royal Estate In Sandringham, Norfolk For The Christmas Day Church Service. (Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)

Pecking Order

William and Harry arrived almost synchronised with Harry and Meghan. Six years ago, Kate may have been the big draw, but she was placed behind Prince Charles and Camilla on arrival. While hand-holding might be permitted, certain rules will never subside: namely, curtsying on meeting Queen Elizabeth arrives. Both Meghan and Kate were pictured greeting their grandmother-in-law with the expected move, while men bow their heads.

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US actress and fiancee of Britain's Prince Harry Meghan Markle (2R) and Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, (L) curtsey flanked by Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (2L), and Britain's Prince Harry (2R) who bow as they see off Britain's Queen Elizabeth II leaving after the Royal Family's traditional Christmas Day church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk, eastern England, on December 25, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Adrian DENNISADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images

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