Meghan Is Sleeping At Sandringham! Has The World Gone Mad?

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It’s like a future episode of The Crown, right there. The dilemma! The Queen’s grandson wants to bring his gorgeous fiancee to Christmas at Sandringham, an all-family affair with a detailed timetable for the arrival of guests, room plans, meals, embossed menus and place cards, and a festive schedule engraved in stone.

Which is lovely! But it’s also unprecedented. Harry and Meghan are engaged but not yet married.

Plus, thus far the Royals have followed very proper and Victorian etiquette for this formal family celebration. Di, Fergie, etc were not included until their heads were firmly in the noose, sorry, I mean until they’d trooped up the aisle and down again.

And yet Miss Markle is going to be glad-handing churchgoers on Christmas Day like a crested, copper-bottomed member of the Firm.

When Princess Diana wobbled before her nuptials, her sisters warned she couldn’t bolt as her face was ‘already on the tea-towels’, and the gift shop on the Sandringham estate has already stocked up with Harry-Meghan ‘merch’ to commemorate the engagement (even a gold-plated spoon, if you’re short of stocking fillers).

I’m afraid I found myself reacting like a starchy matron to these festive arrangements. I found myself Lady Bracknelling out loud: ‘Sandringham? Sandringham? For CHRISTMAS?’

I even spent time wondering about the… you know… possible constitutional improprieties of the visit. I imagined the conversation between the Queen and Prince Philip, perhaps over a Dubonnet, before Blue Planet II.

‘But Lilibet,’ I could hear Philip saying, ‘don’t be a goose. They’ve been living together in sin already. We had that Blair woman and her blessed contraceptive cap to Balmoral, didn’t we?’ And then I hear the Queen. ‘Yes, darling, but like it or not I am – for the time being anyway – the head of the Church as well as head of state and One mustn’t be seen to endorse such… casual arrangements [for this is how I would imagine Her Maj to refer to premarital sex], particularly at this time of year. I have my Christmas Message to think of…’ I take a rather old-fashioned line on all this. For what it’s worth, I don’t think Meghan should stay under the same roof as Her Majesty over Christmas, even if she’s put in a separate bedroom.

I approve of the antique custom which preserves some distinction between the single and married state, even if it’s a false one, and remember an old lady once saying to me: ‘In the old days, one got engaged and then saved oneself for one’s wedding night, though it was a bit like being given a pony for one’s birthday, then not being allowed to ride it until Christmas.’

When I see snaps like this of Star Wars star Daisy Ridley grinning, I can’t help seeing Keira Knightley. Does anyone share my confusion? I know no two snowflakes (in the old sense of the word) are the same but the Creator clearly did not break the mould when he made La Keira.

It goes without saying that MY adult offspring’s girlfriends and boyfriends are welcome to stay chez moi, in the same bedroom, at any time of year – but, as you are no doubt thinking as you read that, ‘well, she would say that wouldn’t she. She’s not the Queen’.

Quite so. My fears, however, have been allayed on hearing that an elegant solution might have been found by the wise heads of the Royal Households – and that MegHar are staying up the road with WillKat, in Anmer Hall.

Phew! And meanwhile we can also rejoice that the Facebook relationship status of Meghan and Harry will go from ‘engaged’ to ‘married’ on May 19 at St George’s Chapel in Windsor.

Which leaves only one remaining dilemma, and this one for Meghan, as she races about the retail emporia of Kensington doing her Christmas shopping. What do you buy for the woman who owns everything… and all her relatives?

- Rachel Johnson/Mail Online