Wills, Kate slammed over UK tour
Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon has launched a scathing attack on Prince William and Kate Middleton as she revealed the royals were warned about crossing the border into Scotland amid a COVID travel ban.
The royal couple embarked on the three-day UK train tour to thank health workers, essential workers and teachers for their ongoing efforts amid the COVID pandemic, arriving in Edinburgh on Monday morning (local time).
Ms Sturgeon said she had told Buckingham Palace it would be breaking COVID restrictions if the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge travelled to Scotland.
At a daily briefing on Monday (local time), Ms Sturgeon said the Scottish Government "made sure that the Royal Household were aware" of Scotland's restrictions.
At the end of November, it became illegal to cross the Scottish border, with anyone caught entering or leaving Scotland without a reasonable excuse faces a fine of more than $A100.
Prince William and Kate arrived in Edinburgh on Monday morning (local time) to the sound of bagpipes serenading them with Christmas songs, before meeting workers at a Scottish Ambulance Service hub.
Ms Sturgeon, however, was not impressed. "The Scottish Government was advised about the intention to visit, and we made sure that the royal Household were aware, as you would expect, of the restrictions in place in Scotland so that could inform both the decision and the planning of the visit."
But the Scottish government said Ms Sturgeon did not try to stop Prince William and Kate from going to Scotland, adding she simply reiterated the guidance in place.
One MP lammed Ms Sturgeon's hard line stance, telling the Mail Online that, "This man is the future King of Scotland. She has no right to try to stop him.
"It is very unsubtle and I think it will backfire on her because there are a lot of loyalist Scots who would be pretty appalled that she would behave in such a rude manner. She should know better."
It also emerged that the couple would sleep in separate beds during the trip on the royal train, which Queen Victoria originally decorated in 23-carat gold paint with silks and satin to resemble Buckingham Palace. It reportedly now has a much more modest design.
On Sunday night, the royal couple kicked off the tour at London's Euston Station where Welsh pop star Shakin' Stevens sent them off with his massive 1980s hit "Merry Christmas Everyone" before leaving for Scotland.
"Thank you to all transport workers everywhere for keeping the country moving throughout this difficult year," they wrote on a train information board before they set off on their tour in Scotland, before heading to England and Wales.
QUEEN SHOWS OFF UNSEEN FAMILY PIC
Meanwhile, the Queen has revealed a previously-unseen photo of Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis during a Zoom call with global diplomats.
The 94-year-old Queen was doing her first virtual diplomatic audience from Windsor Castle, where she virtually met foreign ambassadors who were at Buckingham Palace, reports The Sun.
Eagle-eyed royal fans spotted a photo of the Queen's great-grandchildren in a frame behind her shoulder.
In the photo, George, seven, can be seen posing next to Charlotte, five, and Louis, two.
Their parents, Prince William, 38, and Kate Middleton, 38, are not featured in the photo.
As well as the framed family photo, fans also saw a green duck sculpture and a blue lamp with a bright white shade.
On Friday, the Queen held three separate diplomatic audiences with Sophie Katsarava, ambassador of Georgia, Gil da Costa, ambassador of East Timor also known as East Timor, and Ferenc Kumin, ambassador of Hungary, and his wife Viktoria Kumin.
The diplomats were in the Equerry's Room at Buckingham Palace while the Queen was sitting in the Oak Room at Windsor Castle.
The new photo of the Cambridge kids comes as it has been announced that William and Kate will meet with the Queen for a family engagement on Tuesday (local time).
This will take place at the end of their nationwide Christmas tour on the royal train, and Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, are also set to attend.
The engagement will celebrate people and organisations who have gone "above and beyond" during the coronavirus pandemic.
The royal family reunion comes as it has been announced that the traditional royal Christmas at Sandringham will be cancelled.
Instead, the Queen and Prince Philip, 99, will celebrate Christmas "quietly" at Windsor Castle, where they have spent most of lockdown.
This will be the first Christmas away from Sandringham since 1987.
A spokesman said: "Having considered all the appropriate advice, The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh have decided that this year they will spend Christmas quietly in Windsor."
It is not clear if any of the royal family will be joining them for the celebrations.
Originally published as Wills, Kate slammed over UK tour