The US actress is set to tie the knot with Prince Harry in spring next year, and it has already been confirmed that she will join her fiance for Christmas with the rest of the royals.
But she arrived back in London this week, in time to attend the Queen’s Royal Household Christmas party , hosted by the Lord Chamberlain at Windsor Castle on Monday.
Royal reporter Rebecca English tweeted: ” Meghan Markle was a surprise guest at the Queen’s annual staff Christmas party at Windsor Castle on Monday.
“One person who met her told me that she was ‘charm personified’.
“‘She held out her hand & said ‘Hi, I’m Meghan’. She was unbelievably beautiful and Harry looked so proud.'”
Meghan attended the event in a burgundy cocktail dress, according to the Daily Mail, and her appearance was a complete surprise to members of staff.
It was reported that everyone laughed when Lord Chamberlain, Earl Peel, made a joke with employees about next year being a busy one, in reference to the upcoming Royal wedding.
Meghan then mingled among the 900 guests as they sipped champagne (or apple juice for Meghan, who didn’t drink) for more than an hour.
She was overheard telling them that she had spent the last weekend with Harry at Windsor as the couple being to plan their wedding.
It’s the second time that the Queen has appeared to break royal tradition for Meghan, after it was announced the US actress has also been asked to spend Christmas Eve at Sandringham.
But while she’ll eat her dinner by her fiance’s side, she will later be separated from him as the female Royals retire with the Queen while the Duke of Edinburgh dishes out port and brandy, and probably cigars to the men.
More than 30 members of family are expected to attend the dinner. She and Prince Harry are expected to stay with William and Kate and their children in their country home on the Sandringham Estate Anmer Hall over the festive period.
The newly engaged couple will also attend the Christmas Day service together the following morning.
The move is a departure from the convention that only people already married into the family join the royals for their Christmas festivities.
The invitation to Ms Markle is unprecedented as it was given before she and Harry tie the knot ahead of their wedding next May at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle.
When Kate and William were engaged in September 2010 they spend Christmas at her family home in Bucklebury. Her first Christmas at Sandringham was after they were married in 2011. Similarly, Mike Tindall was also snubbed from the celebrations until he was wed to Princess Anne’s daughter, Zara.
The decision reflects the fact that Meghan relocated from her Toronto home to London just before she and Harry became engaged last month.
The couple’s upcoming marriage has seen Meghan make history, as she demonstrates that the royals are perhaps not quite the sticklers for tradition or convention that many imagined.
Their upcoming marriage is making the Royal Family more multicultural, has served to demonstrate that divorce is no longer an issue for them, and has shown that royal brides need not have an aristocratic or even affluent background to be deemed ‘suitable’.