Prince William and Duchess Catherine 'admit' to breaking covid-19 restrictions

A source reportedly conceded it was "difficult" to keep two royal families apart

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge with their children, Prince Louis, Princess Charlotte and Prince George, attend a special pantomime performance
(Image credit: Photo by Aaron Chown - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Prince William and Duchess Catherine have faced criticism after seemingly breaking restrictions when attending an event at the same time as the Earl and Countess of Wessex. 

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended a Christmas light show at Sandringham, as did the Duke’s uncle, Prince Edward and his wife Sophie, the Earl and Countess of Wessex. Both royal families took their children to experience the impressive light display. 

For the Duke and Duchess this meant that Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis could enjoy this festive occasion. Whilst the Wessex’s children Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn accompanied them.

However Prince William and Duchess Catherine have received criticism from some after the family of five came close to to their royal relatives. 

It has been claimed that the royal couple had broken the covid-19 restrictions in place in Norfolk - something that has now reportedly been acknowledged. 

How did Prince William and Duchess Catherine break restrictions?

According to the Daily Express, the member of the public who took the pictures of the two families has claimed to have spotted the two households “mingling”. They supposedly stated that this was done on more than one occasion.

Sophie, Countess of Wessex, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and their children Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn stand on the balcony of Buckingham Palace

(Image credit: Photo by Anwar Hussein/WireImage/Getty Images)

Whilst a light show visitor who spotted the royals reportedly told the Daily Mail: “They were clearly breaking Covid rules, in my opinion, because there were nine of them from two separate households.”

The rule of six allows friends and family who do not live together to mix in some outdoor public places. However the group number is limited to 6 and this includes children, regardless of age.

How have Prince William and Duchess Catherine responded?

A source at Sandringham, the royal estate where the Duke and Duchess’ country home, Anmer Hall is located, has reportedly explained that the Cambridges and Wessexes arrived in two separate parties and that attending together had not been intentional.

The insider supposedly said: “The two families were given separate consecutive slots to visit the trail just before it opened to the general public.” The insider revealed: "They arrived, and departed in their own family groups.”

Despite this, the source is thought to have conceded that at some points, the royals might have come closer than they meant to. 

They explained: "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.”

This news comes after the popular Duke and Duchess received criticism from some for their Royal Train Tour across Great Britain. The couple visited Scotland, Wales and England between December 6 to 8. 

Here they paid tribute to all those individuals, organisations and initiatives who have gone above and beyond to support their local communities this year.

With Christmas only days away, it’s understood that Prince William and Duchess Catherine will now be celebrating the big day at Anmer Hall with their children.

Emma Shacklock
Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with five years experience working in digital publishing, ranging from book publishing to magazines. She currently looks after all things Lifestyle for Woman&Home, GoodToKnow and My Imperfect Life.


Before she joined Future Publishing, Emma graduated from the University of Warwick with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Comparative Literary Studies. After leaving education, she started out her publishing career in the world of books, working as a Publisher for an independent digital publisher specializing in back-list and debut commercial fiction novels. With a huge book list and a passion for bringing the best stories to the broadest audience possible, Emma filled her spare time with reading the latest best-sellers and catching up on hit adaptations.


In 2017 she joined TI Media as a fiction writing coordinator on Woman’s Weekly and Woman’s Weekly Fiction as part of the features team. From here, she used her love of books, working to bring short stories to our dedicated readers and began writing for the books pages of Woman, Woman’s Own and Woman&Home, as well as online features ranging from genre round-ups to travel pieces for womanandhome.com. 


After honing her skills, Emma branched out online in 2020 when Future gave her the opportunity to focus on digital-first. When she’s not writing about the next big lifestyle trend, she enjoys cooking, long walks and watching as many crime dramas as she can!