Meghan Markle Photo Appears in Queen's Speech, Confirming Welcome to the Royal Family

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Meghan Markle attends a Christmas Day service at St. Mary Magdalene in King's Lynn, England, on December 25. Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II officially acknowledged actress Meghan Markle as an impending member of the royal family in her annual Christmas speech on Monday.

Markle is set to marry Prince Harry, fifth in line to the throne, at a ceremony on May 19 at Windsor Castle in the south of the U.K.

The queen's message, which routinely takes place at 3 p.m. on Christmas, showed a photograph of Prince Harry, 33, and Markle, 36, in the room of the palace the queen was speaking from.

The pair had earlier in the week released their official engagement photographs taken in the gardens of Kensington Palace.

During her traditional speech, the queen said she was looking forward to welcoming "new members" into the royal family in 2018. On a table nearby was the framed engagement photo of Harry and Markle.

Prince William and Kate Middleton, also known as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, are expecting their third child in April 2018, to join Prince George and Princess Charlotte. The child's birth will make him or her fifth in line to the throne, pushing Harry down to sixth.

Both couples spent Christmas with the wider royal family at Sandringham, attending church on Christmas Day. It is Markle's first holiday season with the royals, and her presence was particularly notable because new additions usually are already married when they attend the festivities, rather than being engaged.

The British media has said Markle's stay at Sandringham with other royals is a sign of how quickly the royal family has accepted her.

The other photographs next to the queen during her speech included one of her 1947 wedding to Prince Philip, her 70th wedding anniversary portrait with him, and a fourth birthday portrait of Prince George, Prince WIlliam's son and third in line to the throne.

12_25_Meghan_Markle_Prince_Harry_01 Meghan Markle and Prince Harry attend Christmas church service at St. Mary Magdalene on December 25. Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Other topics in her Christmas message included the five extremist attacks to hit British soil last year, four of them claimed by the Islamic State militant group (ISIS). She also referred to a fire in an apartment block, Grenfell Tower, London, that killed 71 people in June.

She said both the attacks and the shocking blaze had left her “grateful for the blessings of home and family, and in particular for 70 years of marriage.”