The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge found themselves in a snowball fight as they paid a heartfelt tribute to RAF families separated from loved ones over Christmas.
William and Kate could not help themselves and indulged in a little festive fun after staging a Santa’s grotto in the grounds of their Kensington Palace home for more than 200 wives, girlfriends, parents and grandparents holding the fort at home.
You can watch the moment it happened here
In the colourful grotto the couple joined dozens of children, who have a parent based at either RAF Coningsby or RAF Marham, as they created crackers, decorated stockings or made chocolate truffles.
Kate told her guests: “William and I just wanted to pass on our huge gratitude to all of you here today.
“Not only are we grateful for you coming here to join our party, but also for the sacrifices you make on a daily basis on behalf of the nation.
“As someone whose husband has served, I know how hard it feels when a loved one leaves home to do the job they’ve trained for.”
The couple are flying to RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus on Wednesday where some of the loved ones of the families they met are based, and will take with them a collection of early Christmas presents for the RAF personnel.
Kate went on to highlight how she had some idea how the relatives felt at this time of year as William, a former RAF search and rescue helicopter pilot, had served in the Falklands for six weeks in 2012.
She said: “But I can’t imagine how it feels when your loved ones are away on active service over Christmas or at those special family moments.
“The absence of people you love must be especially hard at this time of year. William and I, however, hope that today shows, in some small way, how much you are all valued.”
When George Whitefield, co-director of the children’s events company Sharky and George which staged the day’s entertainment, appeared with a handful of mock snowballs, that was all the encouragement William needed.
He said: “He saw I had some in my hand and he had a little mischievous nod and wink and looked like he wanted one to throw back at us.”