Kate Middleton and Prince William have been accused of breaking COVID-19 rules. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, along with their children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, were pictured at the Christmas-themed Luminate winter light trail on the Queen’s Sandringham Estate with Prince Edward, Sophie, Countess of Wessex and their kids—Lady Louise, 17, and James, Viscount Severn, 13. Photos obtained by The Daily Mail show the royal group of nine visiting the public attraction on Sunday evening.
Norfolk, where Sandringham is located, is under Tier Two restrictions. Per the UK’s Tier Two guidelines, individuals can see friends and family they do not live with “outdoors, in a group of no more than 6”—the limit of six includes children of any age. There are also exceptions where people can gather in groups larger than six outdoors, including “supervised activities provided for children, and those who were under 18 on 31 August 2020” and for “parent and toddler groups – up to a maximum of 15 people (under-5s do not count towards this limit). These cannot take place in private dwellings,” according to the UK Government’s website.
Royal sources stressed to The Daily Mail that the Cambridges and Wessexes arrived separately to Luminate Sandringham, and that any contact between the families “was inadvertent.” “The two families were given separate consecutive slots to visit the trail just before it opened to the general public. They arrived and departed in their own family groups,” royal sources told the news outlet.
They added, “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, Kate and their children are currently staying at their country home, Anmer Hall, in Norfolk. The Cambridges left Kensington Palace before Tier 4 restrictions were announced for London.