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Royal wives and husbands' first Christmas at Sandringham - best photos

The walk to church is a big milestone for any newlywed

royal christmas day debuts

Christmas Day is always a milestone occasion for any new royal wife or husband, with locals turning out to see the latest addition to the royal family in their droves in Sandringham.

The late Queen Elizabeth rarely invited partners to stay at her Norfolk estate before marriage, but Meghan Markle was believed to have become the first fiancée to spend Christmas with the royals in 2017.

And then in 2019, Princess Beatrice's fiancé, Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, also joined his future wife at the Christmas Day church service.

Take a trip down memory lane with the best photos of royals making their Christmas Day debuts.

READ: Inside the royal family's poignant first Christmas without the Queen

WATCH: Meghan Markle joins royals for the first time at Christmas

The Princess of Wales

Kate Middleton joins the royals for Christmas in 2011© Photo: Getty Images

The then Duchess of Cambridge showed no signs of nerves as she charmed the crowds on her first Christmas with the royals. She later revealed during a TV interview that she had been worried about what to give the Queen as a present. She told ITV's Our Queen at Ninety documentary in 2016: "I thought, 'I'll make her something.' Which could have gone horribly wrong. But I decided to make my granny's recipe of chutney.

"I was slightly worried about it, but I noticed the next day that it was on the table. I think such a simple gesture went such a long way for me and I've noticed since she's done that on lots of occasions and I think it just shows her thoughtfulness, really, and her care in looking after everybody."

The Duchess of Sussex

Meghan Markle joins fiance Prince Harry at Sandringham for Christmas in 2017© Photo: Getty Images

The future Duchess of Sussex surprised royal fans as she accompanied future husband, Prince Harry, on the walk to church on Christmas Day in 2017. Harry later revealed during an interview with BBC Radio 4's Today programme that he and Meghan had a "fantastic" Christmas with the royal family, adding: "We had great fun staying with my brother and sister-in-law and running around with the kids."

MORE: Why Kate Middleton was 'worried' about first Christmas with the Queen

The Countess of Wessex

The Countess of Wessex spends first Christmas at Sandringham in 1999© Photo: Getty Images

The Countess of Wessex made a statement wearing an oversized hat and accessorising with a chic box bag for her Christmas Day debut in December 1999. Prince Edward married Sophie Rhys-Jones at St George's Chapel in Windsor in June that year and the couple are now parents to Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn.

SEE: 10 Royal Christmas decorations 2022: From the Queen's Corgi bauble to Buckingham Palace ornaments

Jack Brooksbank

Newlyweds Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbanks first Christmas at Sandringham in 2018© Photo: Getty Images

Newlyweds Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank beamed as they walked to church together in 2018, just two months after their autumnal Windsor wedding. The couple welcomed their son, August, in February 2021.

Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi

Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi joins fiancee Princess Beatrice at Christmas 2019© Photo: Getty Images

Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi made his Christmas Day debut in 2019 seven months before he and Princess Beatrice tied the knot in an intimate Windsor wedding. Their daughter Sienna arrived in September 2021.

PHOTOS: King Charles' new tribute to Queen at Buckingham Palace is uncanny

The Queen Consort

The Duchess of Cornwalls first Christmas at Sandringham in 2005© Photo: Getty Images

The then Duchess of Cornwall made a stylish debut in 2005, in a cornflower blue ensemble and carrying a Chanel bag. Prince Charles married Camilla in the Windsor Guildhall in April 2005, followed by a blessing at St George's Chapel.

Autumn Phillips

Autumn Kellys first Christmas with the royals in 2008© Photo: Getty Images

Peter and Autumn Phillips finalised their divorce in summer 2021, but the couple made an adorable Christmas Day debut together in 2008, seven months after their nuptials.

Mike Tindall

Mike Tindall joins wife Zara Tindall at Sandringham in 2011© Photo: Getty Images

Mike and Zara Tindall celebrated their tenth wedding anniversary in July 2021, but the rugby star joined his wife at the Christmas Day church service in 2011.

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