Sophie, Countess of Wessex, 55, and Prince Edward, 56, are popular with royal fans for their low-key yet dedicated approach to serving the crown. Nonetheless, the couple ruffled some feathers at the weekend as they appeared to dodge Tier 4 restrictions with their two children – Lady Louise Windsor, 17, and James, Viscount Severn, 13.
Sophie, Edward, Lady Louise and James were snapped visiting Sandringham Estate’s Luminate event – an outdoor light trail in the stately home’s grounds on Sunday night.
Usually, the Wessex family are based at Bagshot Park in Surrey, an area which has been under Tier 4 restrictions since Sunday morning.
So royal fans were surprised when on Sunday evening the family stepped out at Sandringham to explore the light trail.
Photos of Sophie, Edward, Lady Louise and James at the event appeared to show them walking in a distanced group with Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, 38, Prince William, 38, and their three children – Prince George, seven, Princess Charlotte, five, and Prince Louis, two.
READ MORE: Kate and Prince William ‘admit’ breaking Covid rules
Whether or not the Wessexes returned to Bagshot Park following their Sandringham jaunt has not been confirmed.
While travel from Tier 2 into higher tier areas is discouraged by the Government, the Wessexes may have been able to make an exception as they would have been travelling home.
The current Government guidance on travelling out of Tier 2 areas states: “You should stay local and avoid travelling outside of your local area, meaning your village or town, or part of a city, where possible.
“People should continue to travel for reasons such as work, education, getting medical attention or fulfilling caring responsibilities.
“If you live in a Tier 2 area, you must continue to follow Tier 2 rules when you travel to a Tier 1 area.”
The government advice adds: “However, avoid travel to or overnight stays in Tier 3 areas other than where necessary, such as:
To access voluntary, charitable or youth services
To visit your support bubble
To receive medical treatment
For moving home.”