Prince William and Kate Middleton ended their three-day tour of the UK, which saw the couple visit towns and cities all over England, Wales and Scotland. Their last stop was at Windsor Castle, where they reunited with the other senior royals. The monarch was there, Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, as well as Prince Edward, Sophie Wessex and Princess Royal. This marks the first time the members of the royal family have gathered at the same place since the start of the global pandemic.
As the evening was coming to a close and the Queen was retreating into the warmth of the castle, Prince William was caught on camera gently calling out: ‘Bye Gran.’ It is uncertain when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will see the Queen again, as this year there won’t be the usual Christmas gathering they do every year.
It was quite the festive reunion. There was a Salvation Army band playing festive tunes, which the Queen seemed to have rather enjoyed as she was seen quietly singing along with her family gathered around her.
The whole time everyone present was following the social distancing rules, with each couple standing nearby. The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, as well as William and Kate, were nearest to the monarch, with the Earl and Countess of Wessex and Princess Royal standing a bit farther next to Christmas trees filled with lights.
The Queen was, as always, in the spotlight, especially in the Christmas red hat and coat from Angela Kelly. She chatted with each of present royals individually, finally catching up. As she finished talking with Prince William and Kate and started walking away, it is when we can hear Prince William gently say: ‘Bye Gran’.
The monarch just smiled and turned towards the couple, nodding to them as she continued on to speak with Sophie Wessex.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have revealed that they are having struggles over their plans for Christmas during their tour of the UK. This came up as they were talking with students in Cardiff during their visit, saying that they still haven’t decided where and with who to spend the holiday season.
‘It is so difficult, we are still trying to make plans,’ William said. ‘It’s difficult to know what to do for the best.’
This comes just days after royal experts claimed that the Queen wants her children and grandchildren to ‘enjoy Christmas with their other loved-ones’ and ‘not feel torn’ as she prepares for a ‘quiet’ festive season at Windsor.
Lily Faulkner, 21, a second-year Politics and International Studies student at Cardiff University said after her chat with the Cambridges: ‘They were trying like the rest of us to make Christmas plans with their family and still weren’t 100 per cent sure of what they were going to do or where they were going to be.’
Usually, the Queen and her husband Prince Philip host other royals at Sandringham, in Norfolk. However, due to the current situation, they announced last week that they will not be doing the traditional festivities this year and instead stay at Windsor Castle, where they will be creating and isolating in a ‘bubble’ with staff since October.
With the current government regulations, it is allowed for three households to mix from 23 December to the 27th, but it is unlikely that the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh will use this.
Vanity Fair’s Katie Nicholl reported: ‘The Queen has said that this is the year for her family to enjoy Christmases with other family members and not feel torn, as they often do when a royal Christmas takes priority.’
This will be the first Christmas Day since 1949 that the monarch will be spending it without any of her four children, as back then she left one-year-old Charles in the UK so she could be with Prince Philip in Malta.
Prince William and Kate might possibly opt to spend their festive season at Anmer Hall, Norfolk, or perhaps join up with Kate’s parents, Michael and Carole Middleton, at their home in Berkshire.