I'm all about breaking a rule or two, but some rules simply aren't meant to be broken. The mandates put in place around the world to curb the spread of the coronavirus are strict for a reason, so it's understandable for people to be upset when they're broken, especially by lawmakers and public figures themselves. After William and Kate broke England's social distancing rules, royal fans are deeming it irresponsible.
The UK's rules regarding social gatherings amid the coronavirus pandemic are very clear cut. "You can see friends and family you do not live with (or do not have a support bubble with) outdoors, in a group of no more than six. This limit of six includes children of any age," the mandate states on the UK's official government website.
So when the Duke and Duchess were spotted out taking a stroll with their kids and mingling with Prince Edward and Sophie's family (making their group 9 people) at Sandringham, royal fans slammed them for seemingly breaking protocol.
It was the Daily Mail who broke the news, after speaking with a fellow visitor at the Queen's Norfolk residence. The Daily Mail's source said, “They were clearly breaking Covid rules, in my opinion, because there were nine of them from two separate households. They were obviously all having a fun evening out."
Royal fans on Twitter were fuming after seeing the photos.
"So are Prince William, Kate, Edward & his wife going to get fined? Or are they above the rules?" one fan questioned in an angry tweet, adding that the UK should "make an example out of them if the government are really serious."
Another fan said the nine person walk made it look like the royals thought they were "above the law."
As it turns out, the royal source told The Daily Mail that the large group actually crossed paths at Sandringham by chance and originally had no plans to meet up. "The two families were given separate consecutive slots to visit the trail just before it opened to the general public. They arrived and departed in their own family groups," they told the outlet.
To be fair, it's hard to see your family members by chance and walk right on by without acknowledging them, but considering how high profile the royals are, they probably should have done so, if only to set a good example.
The royals have yet to address the controversy.