Meghan Markle is reported to have a sweet relationship with the Queen, with the monarch apparently taking Meghan under her wing amid the pre-wedding Markle drama.

There was concern when a framed photo of Meghan and Harry, previously seen in Queen Elizabeth’s audience room, was moved, but royal experts were quick to explain that the Monarch has a tendency of moving her photographs around, assuring the public that the Queen and Meghan are big fans of each other. And since then, the two power women have got even closer, with the Queen even taking Meghan onboard the royal train to make their first official outing as a pair.

Last year, Queen Elizabeth made a big effort to welcome Meghan into the fold, inviting her to spend Christmas in Sandringham with the Windsors before she was officially a royal, and this year, she’s going even further. It has been reported that the Queen has invited Meghan Markle’s mum, Doria Ragland, to spend Christmas with the royal family in Sandringham.

The gesture has been reported as ‘unusual’, especially seeing as Kate Middleton not only had to wait until she was married to Prince William to spend Christmas in Sandringham, but has also never had her family join the royals for Christmas lunch. While the Middletons have been invited to the Christmas morning church service before, they have celebrated the day at Prince William and Kate Middleton’s Amner Hall home instead.

So why the exception for Meghan? According to royal sources, the Duchess of Sussex has had a difficult year family-wise, and given that her mother is the only family member she seems to be in regular contact with, it would mean a lot to have her there. Not to mention, Doria is said to have made a very good impression on the royals.

doria ragland

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‘It’s a mark of the Queen’s respect for Meghan,’ a royal expert told the Daily Mail. ‘And an acknowledgment that she doesn’t have any other relations in this country – unlike Kate who has the support of a very close family.’

Well it’s sure to be a very special Christmas!

More: this is the tiara rule that Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and Princess Eugenie follow

Via Marie Claire UK