Meghan Markle Gave Prince William This Gag Gift at Her First Christmas with the Royal Family
For the first time in years, the royal family no longer rings the doorbell at Queen Elizabeth's Sandringham estate for Christmas. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the monarch will stay at Windsor Castle with husband Prince Philip while the rest of the royal family will party separately due to new strict lockdown policies.
While they won't be together, they'll likely still partake in beloved family traditions in their own immediate families, such as gift giving over tea on Christmas Eve - an ancient German practice introduced by Queen Victoria's husband, Prince Albert, in the mid-19th century .
And when it comes to their early Christmas presents, the quirkier the better! The royal family uses this time to give each other inexpensive gag gifts - such as the leather toilet seat that Princess Anne gave to her brother Prince Charles for a year and the “Grow Your Own Girlfriend” kit that Kate Middleton once gave to her brother-in-law Prince Harry .
On her first Christmas with the royal family after her engagement to Harry in 2017, Meghan Markle gave her future brother-in-law, Prince William, a gag present that scored important points with the family.
Chris Jackson / Getty Kate Middleton, Prince William, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry on Christmas Day 2017
In Finding Freedom, royal journalists Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand write that giving gifts was always "an audition like no other, and [Meghan] wanted to impress her future royal relatives."
"To this end, Meghan's biggest challenge was to find the perfect novelty gifts to entertain her new extended family," say the authors of the book. "At least one of her presents was a great success - a spoon for William with a 'cereal liqueur' stamped on the flat end of the bowl."
RELATED: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry go Christmas tree shopping - and Harry has a funny mix-up!
Stephen Pond / Getty Images Prince Charles, Prince William, Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry on Christmas Day 2018
Meghan, Harry and their son Archie are preparing to celebrate their first Christmas at their new home in Montecito, California. The family is "excited to be decorating for Christmas," a source told PEOPLE.
In the meantime, William and Kate are spending the holidays at their Norfolk Cottage, known to be home to much of England, as much of England is under strict lockdown due to an infectious new coronavirus strain in the UK.
The Sussex and Cambridge families were sending each other Christmas presents before the holidays, PEOPLE has learned.
Stephen Pond / Getty Images Meghan Markle and Prince Harry on Christmas Day 2018
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Gifts have been sent back and forth between the entire royal family and they experience their first socially distant Christmas.
The new special edition of PEOPLE, Christmas With The Queen: A Holiday Album of the Royal Family, is available now on Amazon and wherever magazines are sold.
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