Rule breakers? Prince William and Kate Middleton are taking some heat after they were accused of breaking the U.K. government's new "rule of six" COVID-19 restriction while out for a festive night with the kids.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge brought children Prince George, 7, Princess Charlotte, 5, and Prince Louis, 2, to the Christmas-themed Luminate trail at Queen Elizabeth II's Sandringham estate on Sunday, December 20. The family of five was seen with William's uncle Prince Edward; Sophie, Countess of Wessex; and their two children, Lady Louise, 17, and James, Viscount Severn, 13. William and Kate were met with backlash, as the two families congregated in a group of nine, which went against the government's limit of how many people are allowed to gather.
"The two families were given separate consecutive slots to visit the trail just before it opened to the general public," a royal source explained to the Daily Mail, who first shared the photos of the controversial gathering. "They arrived and departed in their own family groups. 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."
Twitter users have since shared their thoughts on the royal couple's outing, and they aren't happy. "Yet again Prince William and Kate and other Royals break the Covid-19 restriction rules. Must be a case of 'the rules only apply to the general public,'" one Twitter user wrote. "Prince William and Kate Middleton 'unapologetically' flout rule of six, because they think they can, but they'll get away with it because they're protected by the press! If this was #HarryandMeghan ... this would be world breaking news," another added.
A third chimed in, writing: "One rule for them, and another rule for the rest of us. Typical!!!"
The Duke and Duchess, both 38, will be spending the holidays at their country home of Anmer Hall in Norfolk. Norfolk has been placed under Tier 2 lockdown, meaning a maximum of six people can congregate outside if they are not from the same household.
According to the U.K. government guidelines, "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."
Most of the U.K. is placed under Tier 4 lockdown, banning all households from mixing and staying the night away from one's own residence. As OK! previously reported, the Cambridges hoped to spend the holidays with the Queen at Sandringham, but it seems COVID-19 has put a pin in that plan.