By Alicia Brunker
Updated: Dec 15, 2018 @ 6:03 pm

In less than two weeks, Meghan Markle, now the Duchess of Sussex, will spend her first Christmas as a royal for four days at Sandringham Palace with the rest of the British monarchy. And Princess Diana's former butler Paul Burrell is offering her some tips for survival. 

According to the staffer, who spoke with The Daily Mail, the holidays with the royals is like "Downton Abbey on speed," which sounds pretty intimidating to say the least. Burrell says it's "the most intense period of the year" for Prince Harry and his relatives where "some of the biggest personalities and egos in the country" are all under one roof. 

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However, if Meghan stays close to Harry and the Queen, she should be fine. "The Queen will be very aware of the media attention [on Meghan], she reads every single newspaper, every morning," he explained. 

"She scans each one, then sees what they say, and makes an informed decision, based on what she reads with what she knows. She can then know if it's truth or fiction. She will try to resolve it, she will take her grandsons to one side, and ask: 'Is there any truth in this?' Or: 'I've heard this, how can I be of help?' She's their granny. She loves them very much and wants them to be very happy. The Queen is their best friend."

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We already know that Meghan and Queen E have a great connection, but Burrell advises the new royal to make sure she gets in some one-on-one time with her grandmother-in-law. "It's what I said to Diana when she first came into the family, try to get airtime with the Queen, speak into her ear," he says. 

"The best time to do it is when she's seated at her card table, before and after dinner, she will sit and play Bridge or Canasta and she'll always ask people to join her, that's your chance to get quality time and tell the monarch what you're thinking and feeling," Burrell adds. 

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This may even be a good time for Meghan to address the negative media attention she's been receiving lately. "If you speak your fears, she will take it onboard and speak to the right person," says Burrell. "She will change the rules, she did it for William and Harry, she can do it, but only if she knows about it." 

Bottom line: Queen Elizabeth is the key to having a very Merry Christmas. 

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