Prince William and Kate Middleton admit they ‘don’t know what to do for Christmas’ because ‘it’s so difficult to make plans’ – after Queen cancelled family gathering at Sandringham
- Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are not sure who to spend festive season with
- Couple are on a Christmas cheer tour across England, Scotland and Wales
- Queen cancelled traditional family gathering at Sandringham due to pandemic
Prince William and Kate Middleton admitted today that they were still struggling over their plans for Christmas.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, both 38, told students in Cardiff that they didn’t know who to spend the festive season with.
‘It is so difficult, we are still trying to make plans,’ William said. ‘It’s difficult to know what to do for the best.’
The couple’s comments come days after a royal expert claimed 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.’
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge admitted today that they were still struggling over their plans for Christmas
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, both 38, told students in Cardiff that they didn’t know who to spend the festive season with
The Queen 94, and Prince Philip, 99, traditionally spend the festive season with close family at Sandringham, in Norfolk. But it was announced earlier this week that this year they will forgo the festivities and remain at Windsor Castle, where they have been isolating with a ‘bubble’ of staff since October.
It is understood the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will not take advantage of the relaxed Covid restrictions to form a Christmas bubble with other households.
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.’
It means the couple face spending Christmas Day without any of their four children for the first time since 1949, when the then Princess Elizabeth left a one-year-old Charles in the UK so she could be with Prince Philip in Malta.
Prince William and Kate are most likely to spend Christmas at Anmer Hall, Norfolk or with the Duchess’ parents, Carole and Michael Middleton, in Berkshire.
The Queen 94, and Prince Philip, 99, traditionally spend the festive season with close family at Sandringham, in Norfolk. But it was announced earlier this week that this year they will forgo the festivities and remain at Windsor Castle, where they have been isolating with a ‘bubble’ of staff since October. Pictured: the Cambridges and their eldest children at Sandringham last year
The Cambridges may decide to spend Christmas day with Kate’s parents, Carole and Michael Middleton, pictured, in Berkshire after the Queen cancelled the traditional Sandringham family gathering
William and Kate are on a two-day Christmas cheer tour across England, Scotland and Wales, on the Royal Train to thank individual and organisations who have helped their communities during the pandemic.
Their first stop today was at Cardiff Castle in South Wales where they met local students from Cardiff University, Cardiff Metropolitan and University and the University of South Wales to hear about some fo the challenges they have experienced, particularly as regards their mental health.
Cardiff Castle has been turned into a winter wonderland – albeit a socially-distanced one – with illuminations and a food market.
The couple grabbed sticks loaded with giant marshmallows to toast around a small bonfire with Lily and two fellow students, Azaria Anaman, 23, who is in her first year of accounting and finance, and Shahzeb Akhtar, 21, who is his third year of studying optometry.
William and Kate are on a two-day Christmas cheer tour across England, Scotland and Wales, on the Royal Train to thank individual and organisations who have helped their communities during the pandemic
The couple grabbed sticks loaded with giant marshmallows to toast around a small bonfire with Lily and two fellow students, Azaria Anaman, 23, who is in her first year of accounting and finance, and Shahzeb Akhtar, 21, who is his third year of studying optometry
Kate struggled with her marshamallows, which kept sliding on her stick, and at one point giggled as it got stuck on her gloves.
‘I think I am going to have marshmallows on my fingers all day,’ she joked.
William eventually had to put his down on the fire. ‘It’s got to go a little bit brown bit not as brown as this one,’ he grimaced. ‘I’ve not been paying attention. ‘
Kate told the students that she had ordered marshmallows for their three children – Prince George, seven, Princess Charlotte, five, and Prince Louis, two – for their bonfire night celebrations.
The students said they only found out five minutes before the couple’s arrival who the mystery VIP visitors were going to be
The small ones, she explained, normally slip off onto the fire, so she ordered giant ones – like the ones they were holding.
‘I ordered them for the children. There was a bit of a sugar rush,’ she said, laughing and rolling her eyes.
William commented that it was ‘the first jab today’, highlighting the news that the first anti-Covid vaccines are being rolled out, and asked the group: ‘How have all you guys been? Have you been able to make any Christmas plans?’
Lily was particularly touched to speak to the couple about mental health issues, having struggled with her own following the sad death of her father when she was just 18.
Kate wowed in pillar-box red as she and Prince William kicked off the second day of their royal tour today in Cardiff by toasting marshmallows together
‘It was really good to talk to them about it. They were keen to know about how we dealt with it and helped each other,’ she said.
‘They are such mental health advocates and when you struggle with mental health it can sometimes be really scary to come forward and say that you need the help. And when people like the Duke and Duchess say they support it, it is really reassuring. It’s ok to not be ok, sometimes.
Where will the royal family spend Christmas?
Charles and Camilla: Understood to be spending it alone at their home of Highgrove but will see Queen and Phillip ‘at some point’ during the holidays.
They will also see Camilla’s children Tom Parker Bowles and Laura Lopes at some point.
Prince William and Kate Middleton: Could spend Christmas at Anmer Hall, Norfolk or with the Middletons in Berkshire.
The Wessexes: Prince Edward and Sophie are likely to spend Christmas at their home of Bagshot Park in Surrey.
The Yorks: Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson are likely to spend Christmas with Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice, as well as their husbands Jack Brooksbank and Edo Mapelli Mozzi. They may spend Christmas at the Royal Lodge in Windsor.
Princess Anne: The Princess Royal may spend Christmas with her children Zara Tindall and Peter Philips and their families on their estate of Gatcombe.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle: The Sussexes are spending Christmas in California.
‘It been interesting to say this least, this term. Very different. But it’s nice to know there has been support there and I have another year when hopefully we can go back to normality. ‘
The students said they only found out five minutes before the couple’s arrival who the mystery VIP visitors were going to be.
‘We had no idea it was this VIP,’ joked Shahzeb.
Azaria added: ‘It’s really good to know that they are interest in hearing about students and that they have had a tough time too.
‘Fortunately we have been really supported here. The way we have adapted to doing lectures virtually combined with traditional teaching, blended learning, it’s been good.’
The duke and duchess spent several minutes sitting down at a distance to chat to other groups of students about their experience at university this year.
Their last group was comprised six housemates who had ‘bubbled’ together, all studying a mixture of sports science and education, with whom they had agreed to take part in a ‘Secret Santa’ gift swap.
They all eagerly tore off the wrapping paper from their gifts and Kate had the group in giggles when it emerged that she had given Gwennan Lewis, 20, from Newport, a £13.99 ‘Prosecco Pong’ game.
It was comprised of several plastic glasses and balls and involves participants taking turns to throw a ball into their opponent’s glass and take a drink every time someone shoots and scores.
William bought Dewi Morgan, 19, who is in his second year of studying sport and exercise science at Cardiff Metropolitan, a finger flick table football game.
The Duchess coo-ed over a traditional Welsh Love Spoon that she had been bought, while William laughed at his Guinness beer mat flipping game. ‘I think this says a lot about me,’ he laughed.
‘I really hope you get to see your families this Christmas,’ he told the group.
Kate asked: ‘Is there much in your course that covers mental wellbeing? Have you had much support?’
Dewi told her: ‘As a house we have all supported each other. Some students have felt really isolated but have been very lucky.’
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge appeared in high spirits as they spoke with students from the University of Cardiff and enjoyed a gift exchange
Kate opted to wear her black Ralph Lauren boots for the occasion, which she matched with her black leather gloves as she arrived on the cold December morning
The Duke and Duchess were met by Lord Lieutenant of South Glamorgan Morfudd Meredith as they arrived in Cardiff today and left the station in Cardiff
Afterwards Dewi joked that he had been tempted to buy the duke a ‘box of hairbands’ in a humorous nod to his thinning hair, but wasn’t sure how William would take it.
‘I bottled it! I bottled it!’ he said. ‘We could only spend a fiver and I thought the game would be a laugh.’
Gwennan said: ‘We were meant to get something that represents us or the person we were giving it to. But it was £5 maximum.
‘I like the Prosecco pong, it’s fun. Something to do at Christmas!’
The group said the had been really touched the couple had come to visit.
‘It’s great,’ said Gwennan. ‘A real shock but fantastic. It shows that they care that they want to come and check in on. Particularly chatting about our mental health. We couldn’t quite believe it.’
Dewi added: ‘It was pretty surreal. But it was good to talk to them about what we have been through. There has been a lot of support from the university, The tutors had been great.’
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