Showing she’s well on the road to recovery, Kate Middleton and husband Prince William treated their staff to Christmas lunch at Notting Hill eatery Bumpkin restaurant on Tuesday.
William and Kate, who was wearing a blue and white dress with a smart dinner jacket to finish off her look, accompanied some 27 of their Household staff – press team, private staff, to celebrate the end of the year in a low-key lunch in the restaurant’s Queen’s Room, directly under, according to sources, a giant portrait of William's grandmother, the Queen.
Typically, the royal couple decided to keep things low-key at the restaurant, one of a chain in London, and they treated their staff to the 30-pounds-a head set-menu for the lunch, which of course included turkey and all the accompanying trimmings, starter and of a choice of sumptuous puddings.
According to restaurant staff Kate sipped “soft drinks” although there was plenty of mulled wine flowing for the party attendees. And in all the party lasted, according to restaurant staff, some four hours.
It was the second outing for Kate in as many days, leading to the expectation that she will accompany the royals at Christmas on their annual excursion to Sandringham. She appeared on the BBC’s SPOTY awards to present cyclist Bradley Wiggins and Lord Coe with honours for their sporting achievements, telling presenter Gary Lineker she felt “very well” and sharing a joke with football star David Beckham. It was the first time the Duchess had appeared in public since leaving London’s King Edward VII hospital with her husband. She had been suffering from hyperemeses gravidarum, an acute form of morning sickness, and after three days of intense treatment was ordered home to rest.
This latest outing suggests that Kate will be well enough to join the royals in their festivities at Sandringham on Christmas Day, including the church service, contrary to doubts about her health. It will be the second time she will join the royals there at the Queen’s Norfolk Estate, her first being last year as a married woman. It has not been confirmed, however, if Prince William will be free to attend the Christmas Day celebrations and Sandringham church service, as he may be on duty in Anglesey, the air base where he is a search and rescue helicopter pilot for the RAF. It would be unusual for him to be required to do so, as a married man with his wife expecting a baby. However, the Prince did volunteer to cover for his colleagues on the base in 2010, so missing his family Christmas in 2010 – before he revealed his engagement to the then Kate Middleton.
But the royal couple will be afforded some privacy this Christmas at least. According to reports, the Queen has given Prince William the gift of a cottage on the 20,000 acre Sandringham Estate for his 30th birthday back in June, and preparing the house to be livable by the end of the year. William was reportedly delighted by the gift. According to the Mail on Sunday: “He's a country boy and loves Norfolk, just like his father and his grandparents. It's a lovely, peaceful place and William adores it.” And this year it should certainly provide a much-needed place to relax for Kate, who, while able to enjoy some of the festivities has nevertheless been given instructions to take it easy by medics.