Now that Meghan Markle has helped Prince Harry decorate his palace pad with a 6-foot Christmas tree, will she be joining the royal holiday celebrations with Queen Elizabeth at her Sandringham Estate?
If there is a setting for her at the holiday table, it would be a first for the royal family. Princess Kate didn’t visit Sandringham for Christmas until she was married in 2011. (Although she became engaged in November 2010, she wasn’t included in the festivities as Prince William’s fiancée.)
“I very much doubt she will be there,” a close insider tells PEOPLE. “But if Harry asks for something, she would say yes as she adores him.”
But the source notes that meeting the entire family and spending key time with them could be an ordeal.
“It would be a tall order for her, and possibly put her off for good!” the insider quips.
Royal biographer and Majesty magazine editor-in-chief Ingrid Seward, agrees, saying it would be “extremely difficult for her.”
“Apart from the fact that it is unprecedented – which doesn’t necessarily stop Harry — I doubt she will be there,” she says. “I don’t think he would put her through that, if she hasn’t met them all. It would be very stressful for her.”
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Seward adds that Harry regularly seeks advice from his dad, Prince Charles.
“And he would advise that it was not a good idea as the media would have them married off the next day!” Seward says.
But as one friend tells PEOPLE, “He is very serious about her,” and she is spending time with him in London just a week after he flew to Toronto to see her following his two-week tour of the Caribbean.
Insiders say there is nothing to stop her being in the U.K. around the holidays and staying at one of the other royal homes, including nearby Anmer Hall — Will and Kate’s country home where she could join them for a shooting party and other festive fun after Christmas.
In November, Markle opened up about her plans while she has a few months off from filming her hit show, Suits.
“December is holiday time and I’m really looking forward to seeing my family and traveling,” she told the Vancouver Sun.
She also revealed her plans to spend two weeks in India in January to set up a girls’ program with World Vision, of which she is a global ambassador.
“And then, come March, we start filming season seven of Suits. So, my cup runneth over and I’m the luckiest girl in the world!” she said.