Prince William and Kate Middleton reunited with Queen Elizabeth on Tuesday evening during the final stop of the Cambridges’ Royal Train Tour. Before the 94-year-old monarch retreated back inside Windsor Castle, where she and Prince Philip have been isolating, the Duke of Cambridge was heard saying, “Bye, Gran.”
The monarch and the Cambridges were joined by Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Edward, Sophie, Countess of Wessex and Princess Anne on Dec. 8. Members of the Queen’s family came together to thank local volunteers and key workers from organizations and charities in Berkshire, who will be volunteering or working to help others during Christmas.
The royals, who practiced social distancing, enjoyed Christmas carols performed by the Salvation Army’s Regent Hall band. After the performance, Gillian Cotterill, a territorial leader for The Salvation Army in the UK and Republic of Ireland, said (via BBC), “The Queen was saying she was just so happy we were able to play some carols because she thinks this will be the only time she’ll be able to hear carols, and she was disappointed we didn’t sing.”
Her Majesty looked holiday-ready in a red coat and hat by Angela Kelly for the family reunion. This year, due to the ongoing pandemic, the Queen won’t be spending the festive period with her family at Sandringham like she traditionally does. Instead, the 94-year-old royal will “quietly” celebrate Christmas at Windsor—for the first time in over three decades—with Prince Philip. A Buckingham Palace spokesperson previously said, “Having considered all the appropriate advice, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have decided that this year they will spend Christmas quietly in Windsor.”
While the Queen and Phillip will be in Windsor for the holidays, Prince Charles and Camilla will spend Christmas at Highgrove House in Gloucestershire. Prince William admitted on Tuesday that he and Kate have yet to finalize their 2020 Christmas plans. Under the current UK Government coronavirus restrictions, “no more than three households” can mix between Dec. 23 and Dec. 27. “It is so difficult. We are still trying to make plans,” Prince George’s father told university students during his tour stop in Cardiff. “It’s difficult to know what to do for the best.”