When Meghan Markle will sit down with the rest of the royal family this year for their traditional Christmas dinner, this will be a stark contrast to her previous holidays in the US.
Long before meeting her husband Prince Harry, Meghan had spent the holiday season supplying turkeys to homeless shelters in Skid Row, a square mile from downtown Los Angeles full of thousands of needy people seeking shelter in dirty tents on the sidewalks.
Skid Row is known for its high crime rate and arrives at night, up to 10,000 homeless people – many with drug, alcohol and mental health problems – will meet in the impoverished neighborhood.
But that did not stop the Markle family from helping people in need. Meghan's parents Thomas Markle and Doria Ragland insisted on distributing turkeys during holiday periods. At one point, Markle even volunteered at Hippie Kitchen, a long-standing sober Skid Row kitchen.
A Royal Christmas: Meghan Markle will spend another Christmas with her new royal family at Sandringham House in Norfolk, where the menu will include a traditional turkey meal, various fillings – sage and onion, chestnut and sides such as roast potatoes, mashed potatoes, parsnips and sprouts. Above Meghan is pictured during her first Christmas with the royal family in 2017
Sandringham House, in Norfolk, is where the royals have been enjoying the Yuletide every year since 1988. The royal Christmas dinner is a tradition where the young princes and princesses eat away from the adults and are cared for by nannies, a tradition that means that Markle's newborn baby will be in a separate room of her next year.
In an essay on her humanitarian work, Markle once wrote: "My parents came out of the small, so they made a choice to give a lot: buying turkeys for homeless shelters on Thanksgiving, delivering meals to people in hospices , giving extra change to those who ask for it.
"It's what I've come to see, so it's what I've become: a young adult with a social awareness to do what I could and to pronounce it when I knew something was wrong." ;
What a difference with the opulent surroundings of Sandringham House, in Norfolk, where the royal family has been enjoying the Yuletide every year since 1988.
When the Queen and her relatives open presents on Christmas Eve, Markle, 37, will be able to tell her new family the story behind one of her father's first gifts, which made her proud to grow up in mixed breed households – Thomas is white, Doria black.
According to the biography of Andrew Morton, Meghan Markle: A Hollywood Princess, her father bought two sets of Heart dolls with the traditional nuclear family of mother, father and two children.
He bought one with black dolls, one with white, and mixed them together to introduce the Meghan family. Then he wrapped them in sparkling Christmas paper and placed the box under the tree, "Morton writes.
While the duchess was praised for her past and present charitable work, it is also noted that she has a sense of entitlement and it is not a recently acquired trait. Harry was quoted as saying: "What Meghan wants, Meghan gets & # 39; – but apparently her father also doted on the duchess.
Returning: While still living in her hometown of Los Angeles, Meghan sometimes spent the holiday season supplying turkeys to homeless shelters in Skid Row, a square mile from downtown Los Angeles full of thousands of needy people packed in dirty tents on the sidewalks
Skid Row is known for its high crime rate and arrives at night, up to 10,000 homeless people – many with drug, alcohol and mental health problems – will meet in the impoverished neighborhood
Meghan even offered at a given moment at Hippie Kitchen (photo) a long-standing Skid Row soup kitchen, wrote in her blog that she was influenced by her parents, who & # 39; from little came and therefore made a choice to much to give & # 39;
She grew up as the darling of her father and demanded at Christmas what she wanted and almost always got it, to the great annoyance of her half-brothers, Thomas Jr and Samantha, Morton's book claims.
Morton writes: & # 39;[Samantha] often told the story of the time before Christmas when Meghan looked at a jewelry catalog and chose a ring that Tom Senior had promised as a gift. She teased her much older sister by saying that whatever her father bought [Samantha]Meghan would get the most expensive gift because she was the most beloved child.
During the holiday periods, while living in Woodland Hills, the Raglands and Markles would come together for a true southern feast of sweet potato pie, gumbo, ham jumps and beans, which Thomas Jr recalls as & # 39; good times & # 39 ;, adding : & # 39; They were happy people with a real family feeling. & # 39;
The royal Christmas dinner will be a whole new ball game where the youngest sovereigns and princesses eat separately from the adults and are cared for by nannies, a tradition that means that Markle's newborn baby will be in another room next year – unless Meghan otherwise says.
According to former chef Darren McGrady, who has cooked nine Christmas dinners for the royal family, their food snacks are not the most adventurous, and they say: & # 39; They are actually boring when it comes to festivities … turkey, various fillings – sage and onion, chestnut – and traditional sides such as roasted potatoes, mashed potatoes, parsnip and Brussels sprouts.
The pudding was made in pudding basins, pale, decorated with holly, topped with brandy and the palace inspector would then carry it, flaming, in the royal dining room. It was so traditional. & # 39;
The Duchess of Sussex was recently given back to the community at the Hubb Community Kitchen in London last month (photo)
Growing up as the favorite of a loving father, Christmas was pretty much the same for Meghan, she would demand what she wanted and almost always get it, much to the annoyance of her half-brothers, Thomas Jr and Samantha, according to a biography of the royal
During her studies at Northwestern University in Chicago, if she did not go back to Los Angeles at Christmas, Meghan would stay on campus and hang out at her women's club, Kappa Kappa Gamma, where she lived conveniently next to the North Mid-Quartier halls of residence.
Markle credits the nearby 24-hour Burger King to keep her going at this time, as well as the Chipotle of the Mexican food chain, across the road.
She had said years ago in a blog post that little girls dream of becoming a princess, but they should have been almost impossible when she heaped up hamburgers and fries, sitting on hard plastic chairs under the bright, bright light.
After landing Rachel Dane in Suits, she started with film producer and first husband Trevor Engelson, and spent her weeks traveling between Los Angeles and filming in Toronto.
Special events such as Christmas and Thanksgiving would be split between her new beau and the cast, who would party together in Toronto with Meghan bringing her Vitamix super-blender to prepare soups and cocktails for the group & # 39 ;, says Morton.
While Meghan was still studying at Northwestern University in Chicago, if she did not return to Los Angeles at Christmas, she would stay on campus and hang out at her sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma (photo)
Markle said earlier that the nearby 24-hour Burger King kept her on campus during these times, as well as the Mexican food chain Chipotle, across the road (pictured)
When she was back in LA for Christmas with Engelson, 42, she would watch sports in the dive bars, near their two-bedroom bungalow and one bath in West Hollywood, behind Sunset Strip.
The couplet is believed to be in a dive bar and – after Meghan was introduced to college with basketball to her ex-boyfriend Steve Lepore – regularly drank drinks, such as the legendary Irish sports bar, Rock & Reilly, almost on the corner of their home street.
As seen in our photographs, the taps of sawdust and spittoon are not unlike the British pubs Harry, 34, visited in his naughty teenage years and twenty-and-a-years.
When Meghan eventually met her English prince – apparently on a blind date at the trendy Soho Farmhouse – the couple celebrated Christmas in 2016.
After landing a role on Suits, Meghan was still married to the first husband Trevor Engelson, and spent her weeks traveling between Los Angeles and filming in Toronto. If she does not celebrate Christmas with her cast, she would be back in LA with her husband watching sports in the dive sites, such as the legendary Irish sports bar, Rock & Reilly & # 39; s, virtually on the corner of their home street
Because of the royal protocol they had no hope to spend the day together, so a week in Nottingham Cottage, in Kensington Palace, early December.
They bought a tree at Pines and Needles, in Battersea, South London, and the staff even gave the beaten couple a branch of mistletoe for success.
Morton is going to tell the story: "For the most part, they managed to avoid the watchful paparazzi, the pair that wore matching blue hats to darken their faces.
They walked through the theater district, where they saw the slapstick comedy Peter Pan Goes Wrong and some time later the brilliant scenography The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, based on Mark Haddon's novel. & # 39;