With Christmas just around the corner, many of us are looking forward to the festivities – even if things won’t be quite the same this year.
And it’s no different for the royals. While the Queen usually invites the whole family to Sandringham for Christmas (and they enjoy this very strange tradition), this December they will be adhering to government guidelines and forming ‘bubbles’. Prince William and Kate Middleton are not expected to spend the holidays with the monarch and Prince Philip, due to the fact that their two eldest children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, are still attending school.
But before they take a break for Christmas, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have embarked on a three day tour of the UK to thank volunteers, frontline and key workers, care home staff and teachers for their phenomenal efforts during the coronavirus pandemic.
According to Kensington Palace’s statement: ‘The duke and duchess are very much looking forward to shining a spotlight on the incredible work that has been done across the country throughout this difficult year and to sharing their gratitude on behalf of the nation for all those supporting their local communities ahead of the Christmas holidays.’
The couple started their journey on Sunday evening, boarding the Queen’s train at Euston and arriving in Edinburgh on Monday morning.
The Queen’s official train is usually reserved for senior members fo the family, and it reportedly includes a private bathtub, a 12 seat dining room, work space and a kitchen for staff to prepare meals. It has been used by sovereigns since Queen Victoria, although it has been modernised over the years.
But one thing that many did not know about this mode of transport is that William and Kate sleep separately on board as their suite has ‘his and hers’ single beds, rather than one double bed for them to share.
And if you imagine the train to be super luxe, you’d be mistaken. Director of royal travel, Tim Hewlett, told the BBC in 2002: ‘There is a perception the train is a bit like the Orient Express. But there are not many bathroom furnishings you could not get in Homebase or B&Q.’
The couple will travel 1,250 miles over three days to visit England, Scotland, and Wales.