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Kate Middleton's Christmas Day plans - why she rarely alternates between the royal family and the Middletons

The Duchess of Cambridge knows duty comes first

The Duchess of Cambridge has been part of the royal fold for a decade now, and has increasingly taken on more and more responsibilities as a future Queen Consort.

When it comes to Christmas celebrations, we've also seen how Kate has put duty first to support the Queen.

While most couples alternate Christmas Day between their families each year, Prince William and Kate have largely spent the festive period with the Queen and the royal family at Sandringham.

READ: Why Kate Middleton was 'worried' about first Christmas with the Queen

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WATCH: The Cambridges enjoy a festive outing with their children in 2020

The Cambridges were with the Middletons in 2012 when the Duchess was pregnant with Prince George, and also attended church in Bucklebury as a family-of-four with George and Charlotte in 2016. But for the most part, Kate has spent Christmas Day with her royal in-laws.

"There are numerous annual engagements for the royals during the festive period at a time when most people are socialising with family and friends," HELLO!'s Online Royal Correspondent, Danielle Stacey, explains. "The Duchess is by the Queen's side at the Diplomatic Corps reception, the Buckingham Palace Christmas lunch and of course, the church service at Sandringham.

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William and Kate hosting a Christmas party for military families in 2018

"In addition, we've also seen the Cambridges really focusing on those in need of support at this time of year. From hosting Christmas parties for military families and youth workers in previous years, to thanking key workers during their royal train tour last year, they're using their position as senior royals to highlight charities, organisations and people.

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"This year sees the Duchess spearhead a Christmas carol concert at Westminster Abbey to pay tribute to the incredible work of individuals and organisations across the UK who have supported their communities through the COVID-19 pandemic.

"While perhaps most couples take it in turns to spend Christmas with different sides of the family, the Duchess knows that the festive period is a key time for the royals, and particularly with the Queen's health in recent months and the loss of the Duke of Edinburgh this year, she will be among those to rally around Her Majesty.

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The Cambridges spent Christmas with the Middletons in 2016

"The Cambridges have only spent Christmas with the Middletons in Bucklebury in 2012 and 2016. But Kate's parents, Carole and Michael, have notably been invited to Sandringham throughout the years. Increasingly we've seen a much more modern monarchy, with invitations for extended family members, in-laws and unmarried partners.

"The Duchess will also be aware that as the mother of a future King – Prince George – she will need to prepare her children for their duties, particularly around the festive period."

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