Friday 16 November 2018

Meghan joins UK royals for church service

Meghan Markle attends Christmas Day Church service at Church of St Mary Magdalene. Photo: Getty
Meghan Markle attends Christmas Day Church service at Church of St Mary Magdalene. Photo: Getty

Sam Russell

Meghan Markle has joined the British royal family for her first Christmas church service at Sandringham.

The appearance of the US actress, whose engagement to Prince Harry was announced in November, drew large crowds to St Mary Magdalene Church after Kensington Palace confirmed she would be at the queen's Norfolk estate.

They were not disappointed as Ms Markle demonstrated she had mastered the art of the curtsy before joining her fiancé to speak to delighted well-wishers after the service. Ms Markle walked arm-in-arm with Harry as they made the short journey from Sandringham House to the church with other royals, including the 96-year-old Prince Philip.

She seemed at ease, smiling and chatting as they walked alongside Prince William and his wife Kate, who is pregnant with her third child. Queen Elizabeth, who was too unwell to attend last year's service after being struck down with a cold, arrived separately with the Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla, in a royal Bentley and joined the group from the house, which also included Prince Charles.

Hundreds of well-wishers turned out to catch a glimpse of the royal family, with some arriving in the middle of the night to ensure a good view.

While the queen made the return journey by car, the rest of the family, including Prince Philip, walked back to the house.

The Duchess of Cambridge leaves the Christmas Day morning church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk. Photo: PA
The Duchess of Cambridge leaves the Christmas Day morning church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk. Photo: PA

Ms Markle was wearing a long, wide-collared camel wrap coat with a brown hat and brown knee-length suede boots.

The coat, by luxury Canadian brand Sentaler, is made from baby alpaca wool and sells for £986 (€1,110) on the company's website.

She was clutching a brown leather Chloe pixie bag, which sells for £1,400 (€1,576). The bag looked new but it was not known if it was a Christmas gift.

Back at Sandringham House, the royal family traditionally enjoy Sandringham-reared turkey before settling down to watch TV, including the queen's Christmas message, which this year included a reference to welcoming new members into the royal family in 2018.

Irish Independent

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