How Meghan Markle celebrated Christmas before she married into the royal family – and why she preferred a 'buffet' | The Sun

MEGHAN Markle may have now experienced the opulence of a royal Christmas, but her celebrations before marrying into the family will have looked a little different.

While she was a wealthy actress starring in Suits, she preferred to have a low-key festive period and throw intimate dinner parties for friends.

Back in 2015, Meghan revealed to Grazia her top tips for hosting the perfect Christmas soiree, and we got a window into her life behind closed doors.

Forget royal chefs serving pristine dishes of food, Meghan suggested throwing a buffet for your mates in lieu of a traditional Christmas dinner.

The Duchess of Sussex, who ran her own lifestyle website The Tig, confessed she always made "way too much" food and even gave tips on being thrifty with decorations.

She suggested "keeping it simple and crisp" with the table laid with white crockery and a white table cloth.

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Gilded plates should be used, along with napkin rings and a "stylish set of cutlery".

She added: "All white flowers placed in the low vases are the perfect centrepiece."

Meghan has proven she is a big fan of white blooms, having selected sweet peas, lily of the valley, astilbe, jasmine, and astrantia and Diana's favourite forget-me-nots for her wedding.

When speaking about how to "fake fancy" her home, she advised: "Purchase silver serving trays, platters, nut bowls from flea markets or Etsy to add formality to hors d'oeuvres passing. "

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Meanwhile, for hallways you could add garlands or magnolia branches round bannisters or mantelpieces.

"Holidays with your friends allows you to break the family traditions and avoid Aunt Julie's fruit cake!" Meghan explained.

"Have each of your friends bring a dish or cook together in the kitchen."

As well as food, it seems drinks flow freely at a Christmas party Meghan hosts, as she shared her signature 'Almond Milk Spiced Holiday Cocktail'.

The mum-of-two advised you can serve it hot or cold, while she recommended garnishing it with a cinnamon stick if you're warming it up.

If it's chilled, pop it in a champagne glass with a sugar or cinnamon rim.

Also on the shopping list for Christmas parties were "mint julep cups" or Moscow mule mugs instead of drinking vessels.

While Meghan certainly isn't short on space in her £11million Californian mansion, which has nine-bedrooms and 16-bathrooms, she also shared tips for how to host in a smaller space.

She advised utilising the kitchen if you only have a small table, saying: "If you do not have a proper set-up, use your dining room table or kitchen counter as a buffet.”

And there's no such thing as too much food, as Meghan revealed herself as a big fan of leftovers.

She admitted she buys "way too much of everything for holiday meals", but recommended recipes, such as wedges, for turning leftover food into a new dish.

Every year, the royals flock to Sandringham to spend the festive period as a family, and they pull out all the stops with their celebrations.

Phil Dampier told Fabulous: “The Christmas Eve banquet is a grand occasion with the men dressed in black tie and the ladies in gowns.

“A typical dinner will be Norfolk shrimps, lamb or game shot on the estate and a pudding of soufflé or tarte tartin.

“White wine is served with the starter, claret with the main course, and champagne with the pudding.

“The family all toast each other as they clink their champagne glasses.

“But ironically few of them actually like the stuff, and most gets finished off by the servants as they clear the table afterwards.”

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Prince Harry and Meghan last spent Christmas with the royal family at Sandringham in 2018 before their acrimonious move to the US.

And it's been claimed the couple haven't been invited to the UK to celebrate the holidays – despite a source telling The Sunday Times that the Sussexes would be open to Christmas with the Royals.

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