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- Wife of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge
Whether you spend Christmas morning with your family then drive over to your partner's for an afternoon feast, or alternate where you'll celebrate the big day each year, most couples find a way spend the holidays with both sides of their family. Unfortunately for Kate Middleton however, that doesn't seem to be the case. In fact, it's been a long while (five years to be exact) since the Duchess of Cambridge has spent Christmas Day with the Middleton family, instead celebrating with the Royals.
Kate last spent Christmas with her side of the family in 2016, when she, Prince William, Prince George and Princess Charlotte attended a Christmas Day ceremony at a church in Bucklebury. And, the time before that was back in 2012, when she was pregnant with her and William's first child.
Since then, the Duchess of Cambridge has celebrated the festivities year on year alongside the Queen. But why?
It's all to do with her duties as a senior member of the Royal Family, which mean she's playing an increasingly important part in The Firm's official engagements. "There are numerous annual engagements for the royals during the festive period at a time when most people are socialising with family and friends," royal expert Danielle Stacey told HELLO!.
She continued: "The Duchess is by the Queen's side at the Diplomatic Corps reception, the Buckingham Palace Christmas lunch and of course, the church service at Sandringham."
But, that's not all. As well as carrying out official royal engagements on behalf of Her Majesty, Kate and William also spend plenty of time helping members of the public. "We've also seen the Cambridges really focusing on those in need of support at this time of year," points out Stacey. "From hosting Christmas parties for military families and youth workers in previous years, to thanking key workers during their royal train tour last year, they're using their position as senior royals to highlight charities, organisations and people."
As for what Christmas 2021 has in store for the 39-year-old, Stacey explains that the Duchess will be "spearheading a Christmas carol concert at Westminster Abbey to pay tribute to the incredible work of individuals and organisations across the UK who have supported their communities through the COVID-19 pandemic."
On top of that, this year marks the first Christmas since the passing of Prince Philip, so will no doubt be an emotional time for the family, and more importantly, the Queen herself. "The Duchess knows that the festive period is a key time for the royals, and particularly with the Queen's health in recent months and the loss of the Duke of Edinburgh this year, she will be among those to rally around Her Majesty," Stacey adds.
"The Duchess will also be aware that as the mother of a future King – Prince George – she will need to prepare her children for their duties, particularly around the festive period."
That's not to say Kate won't get to celebrate the festivities with her family at all, as the expert reminds us that her parents, Carole and Michael Middleton, have notably been invited to spend Christmas at Sandringham over the years. "Increasingly we've seen a much more modern monarchy, with invitations for extended family members, in-laws and unmarried partners," she points out.
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