Prince William and Kate Middleton kicked off their second day of spreading Christmas cheer to military families!
The royal couple touched down in Cyprus on Wednesday after arriving on an early morning flight from the U.K. via a Royal Air Force Voyager jet.
The visit came just hours after the couple helped Queen Elizabeth entertain members of the diplomatic service at the annual white-tie holiday party at Buckingham Palace.
Although the royal mom of three usually sticks to dresses, skirts and long coats, she’s been known to occasionally rock a pair of pants. For Wednesday’s celebration, Princess Kate opted for belted wide-legged trousers (a departure from her usually fitted slacks) paired with an olive green blazer by Smythe, which is fit for a royal – it’s called the Duchess Wool Blazer!
Kate debuted the jacket in 2016 during the family’s trip to Canada – and she’s previously worn a navy version.
At the sergeant’s mess, the couple will take part in a Christmas reception — and help deliver presents from families they entertained on Tuesday, when they welcomed around 200 people to Kensington Palace’s Orangery for a party for families of serving RAF members abroad at Christmas. Some of those families have relatives based at the RAF Akrotiri base on Cyprus, where William and Kate visited today.
Scott Stewart, a father of three and a communications specialist with No. 903 Expeditionary Air Wing, spoke to William and Kate as they visited an aircraft hanger on the base shortly after arriving.
“Having William and Kate here is a massive boost for everyone here,” he said. “As a former serviceman himself, [William] spoke to us about how he understands it’s hard being away from our families.
“Kate said how she thought time means so much, especially in the early years, so it’s great to have them recognize the sacrifices that we are all making here. I’m lucky enough to be going home for Christmas but many people won’t be.”
Speaking to a group, Kate disclosed she had tried to show her older children, 5-year-old Prince George and 3-year-old Princess Charlotte, the festive treats laid out for military families at Kensington Palace when they arrived home from school and nursery yesterday afternoon — but they were too late.
“We took the children down to where the party was but everything was gone,” she said. “They were so disappointed!”
Still, George was already looking forward to something else, William shared with a group of pilots.
“I told George this morning we were going to see the pilots today, and he said, ‘If you see a helicopter, can you take a picture?’”
Kate added that the children “had a lot of sweets by the end of the day. We felt quite responsible. The sugar highs … there were a lot of marshmallows.”
Kate also noted the sacrifices the troops were making during the holidays.
“Some of the children really understood what their mums and dads are doing and missed you all,” she said. “I’m sorry that we couldn’t bring your families with us for Christmas.”
The couple handed out gifts for personnel and later enjoyed tea and cakes with families living in the Cyprus military bases, asking children their names and ages and quizzing adults about life there.
“Are any of you football fans?” William asked at one point. After a look from his wife, he conceded: “I’m sorry!”
“You’re not going to find an Aston Villa fan everywhere,” an amused Kate chided him before William declared, “I’ve found one already, actually.”
Kate appeared to enjoy meeting children from military families, bending down to accept a bouquet of flowers.
Prince William and Kate Middleton ended their visit to Cyprus by officially opening the Oasis recreation center.
Spotting the bright yellow couches in the room, William teased the men to “keep the pizza off the sofas!” His wife playfully volleyed back, “You’re a nightmare with that!”
Former Royal Air Force pilot William recalled the tokens he would use to make 15-minute calls home when he was serving time away.
“FaceTime makes such a difference now,” he added.
During a walkabout outside the Warrant Officers and Sergeants’ Mess, Kate chatted with well-wishers – and revealed that 7-month-old son Prince Louis is already working on his royal wave.
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