Meghan Markle has been invited to attend the British royal family’s Christmas this year.
But then I learned something that made me, a firstborn, shudder with barely suppressed (and wholly misplaced) rage. That is, Kate Middleton was not allowed to attend the royal Christmas when she was Prince William’s fiancée.
Kate had to wait until she was officially William’s wife and the Duchess of Cambridge to be given the right to sit down to a Christmas meal with her partner of almost a decade.
Listen: We discuss Christmas traditions on Mamamia Out Loud:
At first, this might seem like a slight against Kate. Make no mistake. It’s not.
This is all about William and Harry. And it’s a common phenomenon every firstborn will recognise: the rules for the eldest child are different to the rules for the second child and subsequent siblings.
Strict rules your parents set out – in this case: no girlfriends at Christmas – are somehow relaxed by the time the second child reaches the same age or milestone, so that they either don’t apply or are so bent out of shape they might as well not exist.
And it happens all the time.
You, the eldest, had to wait until you were 14 to hang out at a shopping centre with your friends alone. Your little sister or brother was doing it at 12.
You argued and fought for your $2 a week allowance. A year later your two younger siblings were pocketing $5 each week.
You couldn’t go to a party with any alcohol until you were 18. Your younger siblings were given a six-pack when they were 16 and a half.
You begged and begged your mum to get your ears pierced and got them done on your sixth birthday. Your sister? She was wearing earrings at five.