They're not the only royals to have come under fire recently for lockdown breaches...
With Princess Beatrice facing criticism just last week for dining out at a London restaurant with people from numerous different households. (Something that was advised against in London’s then-tier 2 restrictions.)
And now, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are facing critics of their own – after it emerged they breached COVID-19 restrictions on a recent festive family trip.
The Cambridges were attending the Lumiere light show in the gardens of Sandringham Estate, when members of the public alleged that they’d seen the family mingling with another royal household: that of Prince Edward, his wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex, and their two children, Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn.
The two factions of the royal family, neither of which are likely to be in The Queen’s Christmas bubble, were thought to be mingling as a party of nine. According to Sandringham’s current Tier 2 rules, this is technically a breach of the ‘rule of six’.
The current COVID-19 restrictions that cover Norfolk state: ‘You can see friends and family you do not live with (or do not have a support bubble with) outdoors, in a group of no more than 6. This limit of 6 includes children of any age.’
But a source told The Daily Mail that despite arriving separately, with different slots to walk the light trail, the two families were spotted closely chatting and mingling on more than one occasion.
A Sandringham insider confirmed the accidental breach, saying, “The two families were given separate consecutive slots to visit the trail just before it opened to the general public.” Adding, “They arrived, and departed in their own family groups.”
However, despite not having any intention of meeting up, the source said that at times, mingling between the two households was inevitable.
“As anyone with young children will know, there were moments on the 90-minute walk where it was difficult to keep the two family groups apart, particularly at bottlenecks on the trail.”
William and Kate are thought to spending Christmas at Anmer Hall – their countryside residence (and pretty backdrop to their 2020 Christmas card), which is close to The Queen’s private household at Sandringham.
But breaking with tradition for the first time in recent royal history, The Queen will not be there. Instead, the monarch is opting for a quiet, COVID-safe Christmas at Windsor Castle.