Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle
Kate Middleton was the first non-royal to be invited to Christmas in Sandringham in 2006. Pictured: Middleton, Markle attend day twelve of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 14, 2018 in London, England. Getty Images/Clive Mason

Kate Middleton paved the way for Meghan Markle to celebrate Christmas in Sandringham with the royal family.

In the book “Making of a Royal Romance” by Katie Nicholl, the author said that the Duchess of Cambridge was first invited by Queen Elizabeth II to celebrate Christmas in Sandringham in 2006. At that time, Middleton and Prince William were not even engaged yet.

The author said that was the first time that Prince William’s girlfriend received such an invitation. In 2005, Middleton was also invited to attend the traditional Boxing Day shoot with the royal family.

Middleton’s invitations from when she was just dating Prince William made it less surprising for Markle to receive the same gesture from Her Majesty before she and Prince Harry tied the knot. Last year, the monarch asked Markle to join the royal family for their Christmas celebration in Sandringham while she and Prince Harry were just an engaged couple.

Following the Queen’s 2006 invitation to Middleton, it has also been revealed that Prince William reached out to his dad, Prince Charles, and grandmother about his relationship with the mom of three. At that time, it was believed that Prince William was having second thoughts about their relationship.

Prince Charles and the Queen advised Prince William to not rush into anything. He and Middleton took a brief break in their relationship in 2007, but they announced their engagement three years later. The second in line to the throne proposed to Middleton while they were vacationing in Kenya.

The royal couple tied the knot at Westminster Abbey in 2011.

Following their lavish wedding, Prince William and Middleton welcomed their three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis in 2013, 2015, and 2018, respectively. The adorable family was last seen together in the Christmas card photo that was released by Kensington Palace.

In the snap, Middleton is carrying Prince Louis, who has a huge smile on his face. Prince William is sitting is beside his wife and in front of Prince George and Princess Charlotte. The 3-year-old girl’s resemblance to her late grandmother Princess Diana is also evident in their family picture.