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Royals rebuked for breaking COVID rules on 'family walk'


The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been criticised for failing to “make sure they are beyond reproach” after they were pictured breaching the UK’s COVID-19 “rule of six” with other royals.

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William and Kate and their family were photographed together with the Earl and Countess of Wessex and their children during a night-time woodland walk on the Queen’s Sandringham estate in Norfolk.

Norfolk is under Tier 2 of the UK’s coronavirus restrictions, meaning up to six people can meet outside.

The two families – nine in total – were pictured together on Sunday as they were given a preview of Luminate – an event open to the public where visitors follow a light trail through the country park on the estate.

“The royals should not be relying on the inability of the authorities to enforce the law,” Graham Smith, from the organisation Republic which campaigns for an elected head of state, said.

“They have a responsibility to show a higher standard and to make sure they are beyond reproach.”

In one image published in the Daily Mail, William leads the group with his youngest son, Prince Louis, on his shoulders. Prince George and Princess Charlotte are close by, with Kate behind them and Sophie and her son, Viscount Severn, alongside.

Lady Louise follows behind her mother, the countess, with the earl at the back, making nine people in total.

“The two families were given separate consecutive slots to visit the trail just before it opened to the general public,” a source at Sandringham said.

“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.”


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