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Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and royal family arrive for the Queen's Christmas lunch – all the photos

Christmas has officially started for the royal family!

christmas lunch royals
Ainhoa Barcelona
Content Managing Editor
Updated: 19 December 2018
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kate middleton christmas lunch© Photo: PA

The Queen threw open the doors to Buckingham Palace on Wednesday to welcome the royals for her annual pre-Christmas lunch. Every year in the week leading up to the 25th, Her Majesty hosts a big luncheon for extended members of her family. It's an opportunity for the monarch to catch up with all of her relatives, before she retreats to Sandringham where she is joined by only her immediate family. She typically spends the weeks following Christmas in Norfolk and doesn't return to London until after her father's death anniversary in February.

The Cambridge family arrived in one car. Prince William was spotted behind the wheel of his Range Rover, driving his wife Kate, his son Prince George and his daughter Princess Charlotte. The children's nanny Maria Turrion Borrallo was also pictured in the backseat of the car next to the children.

Kate looked lovely in pink and flashed her winning smile at the camera. She gave a friendly wave to members of the public outside the palace.  

prince george car christmas lunch© Photo: PA

The third-in-line to the throne shyly looked out at the cameras.

princess charlotte christmas lunch© Photo: Rex

Princess Charlotte followed her mum's lead and waved at fans.

meghan markle harry christmas luncha© Photo: Rex

Prince Harry and Meghan arrived together for the luncheon, with the pregnant Duchess wearing black. There will be lots of talk about the royal baby around the dinner table; Meghan is due to give birth in the spring.

meghan markle christmas present© Photo: PA

In the back of the car was a present.

prince charles christmas lunch© Photo: Rex

Prince Charles was chauffeur-driven to the palace and smiled as he zoomed past the waiting photographers. It's been a momentous year for the future King, who has not only seen his younger son Harry tie the knot, but has also welcomed his third grandchild Louis and celebrated his own milestone 70th birthday.

sophie wessex and louise© Photo: Rex

Some of the first guests to arrive at the palace were the Countess of Wessex and her daughter Lady Louise Windsor, 15. Prince Edward's wife Sophie was pictured behind the wheel, bundled up in a scarf, while Louise went casual in a denim top.

prince andrew christmas lunch© Photo: Rex

The monarch's son Prince Andrew, who was one of the first to arrive, was pictured behind the wheel of his car.

princess beatrice christmas lunch arrival© Photo: Rex

Princess Beatrice was spotted in the front passenger seat of another car.

duke of edinburgh christmas © Photo: PA

The Queen's husband Prince Philip, 97, made a special appearance at the lunch, driving down from Windsor.

zara tindall christmas lunch© Photo: Rex

Mike and Zara Tindall also drove down for Gloucestershire for the occasion. The couple appear to have left their children – four-year-old Mia and sixth-month-old baby Lena – at home.

timothy lawrence christmas lunch© Photo: Rex

Princess Anne's husband Timothy Laurence was in the same car as his wife.

autumn phillips christmas lunch© Photo: Rex

Peter Phillips' wife Autumn was joined by a female companion and her elder daughter Savannah, seven. 

Lady Helen Taylor© Photo: Rex

The Duke of Kent's daughter Lady Helen Taylor arrived in another car.

Duke of Gloucester © Photo: Rex

The Duke of Gloucester, the 74-year-old cousin of the Queen, was accompanied by his wife Birgitte.

Lady Rose Gilman daughter lyla© Photo: Rex

Richard and Birgitte's daughter Lady Rose Gilman drove her daughter Lyla, who looked very excited, to the party.

duke of kent christmas lunch© Photo: Rex

The Queen's cousin the Duke of Kent was also spotted arriving.

maud windsor© Photo: Rex

Maud Windsor arrived in the car with her nanny and younger sister Isabella.

princess michael of kent christmas lunch© Photo: Rex

The Queen's cousin Prince Michael and his wife Princess Michael of Kent made the short drive from their home in Kensington Palace.

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