William, Kate and their children, Prince George and Louis and Princess Charlotte were spotted mingling with Prince Edward, his wife Sophie and their children Lady Louise and James Viscount Severn at a public attraction.
The two families were seen visiting Luminate, a Christmas-themed woodland walk at the Queen's Norfolk residence alongside members of the public on Sunday December 20. Although both families are said to have arrived separately, with emphasis on having no intention of coming together, reports from onlookers state having seen, on several occasions throughout the evening, all nine family members mingling, chatting and clearly disrespecting the 'rule of six'.
Tier Two rules must be respected
At the moment, Tier Two restrictions are in full effect at the Queen's Norfolk residence which limits no more than six people from coming together outdoors –including children of all ages– if they are not from the same household or support bubble.
The regulations explicitly state that:
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 six. This limit of six includes children of any age.
Failure to respect these rules can prompt police to take action by fixing a penalty notice of £200 for the first offence, doubling for each further offence for a maximum fine of £6,400.
Criticism from the public
A visitor who stumbled upon the group claims to have seen them make their way around the mile-long trail mixing and chatting, albeit keeping somewhat of a distance from one another:
They were clearly breaking Covid rules, in my opinion, because there were nine of them from two separate households. They were obviously all having a fun evening out. You could tell that the royal youngsters were having a great time. But I couldn't help thinking that it was one rule for them and another for the rest of us. It was really quite blatant
Leaving many to believe that the Royal Family should not be exempt from following rules that the rest of us must abide by. Such a high-profile influential family scrutinized by the public eye should be the one to set the example.
However, as the party of nine did not intentionally mean to gather, as was claimed by sources close to the family, this first inadvertent offence can be overlooked.