The Duchess of Cambridge has paid a heartfelt tribute to the military families coping with being apart from loved ones over Christmas.
Kate said she could not imagine the emotions they felt during the holiday period as she hosted a festive party with William for more than 200 wives, girlfriends, parents and grandparents holding the fort at home.
A Christmas grotto had been created in the grounds of Kensington Palace where dozens of children, who have a parent based at either RAF Coningsby or RAF Marham, ran around creating crackers, decorating stockings or making chocolate truffles.
The duchess told her guests: “As someone whose husband served, I know how hard it feels when a loved one leaves home to do the job they trained for.”
She highlighted how she had some idea how they 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.
Kate added: “But I can’t imagine how it feels when your loved ones are away on active service over Christmas…”