Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, 38, and Prince William, 38, are understood to have taken their three children – Prince George, seven, Princess Charlotte, five, and Prince Louis, two, to visit Queen Elizabeth II, 94, at Balmoral over the bank holiday weekend. While the family reunion would have been welcomed by all, there is one special tradition that was off the cards this year.
Prince George and Princess Charlotte delighted royal fans at Christmas when they attended the church service at Sandringham alongside their parents and other Royal Family members for the first time.
The Queen and Prince Philip, 99, have been based at Balmoral since early August and during her summer break there the Queen usually attends the nearby Crathie Kirk church every Sunday.
In previous years, the Queen has been joined by her Balmoral royal visitors for church but this year the beloved tradition is unable to go ahead due to health fears.
While Crathie Kirk has reopened following lockdown, the Queen’s attendance usually draws crowds keen to catch a glimpse of her and it is understood that this year she will not attend church as a “sensible precaution” amid the coronavirus pandemic.
This means that while George and Charlotte may now be old enough to join their grandmother for church, they will likely have to wait another year to enjoy the special trip.
The Queen and Prince Philip are both in their 90s and at high risk of COVID-19
The couple have spent the pandemic carefully isolating with a select number of staff members dubbed ‘HMS Bubble’ by one royal insider.
The Queen has welcomed several Royal Family members for visits to Balmoral this year but it is understood all encounters have been socially distanced.
The first family members to visit the Queen in Scotland were Prince Edward, Sophie, Countess of Wessex and their two children – Lady Louise Windsor, 16, and James, Viscount Severn, 12.
The Cambridges’ visit took place ahead of Prince George and Charlotte’s return to school this week.
The royal youngsters are both pupils at Thomas’s Battersea in South West London and are expected to be among pupils across the country returning to the classroom for the autumn term.
While William and Kate relocated to Norfolk with their children ahead of lockdown, they are now likely to be back in the capital in order see them off to school.
George and Charlotte were homeschooled by William and Kate throughout lockdown and maybe eager to get back to school to be with their classmates.
The little ones will have to adapt to a new kind of teaching this year as strict social-distancing measures are put in place in schools across the country.
Zara Tindall and Mike’s eldest daughter Mia, six, is also due to return to school this week.
She was among pupils to return to school in May when classes returned for some age groups ahead of the summer holidays.
Sophie Wessex and Prince Edward’s eldest daughter Lady Louise will be starting sixth form this autumn.
She received her GCSE results last month and proud mum Sophie has previously described her as clever.
The Countess said: “She’s working hard and will do A-levels.
“I hope she goes to university. I wouldn’t force her, but if she wants to. She’s quite clever.”