Prince William and Kate Middleton are taking part in a holiday celebration this year in which they will play a part in bringing together active-duty military personnel and their families. People reports that the festivities will begin with a party for military families. It will end with the delivery of cards and gifts created at the party to military personnel in the field. Kensington Palace announced the affair on Twitter Friday and explained its intent, saying, “Across these two engagements Their Royal Highnesses wish to deliver a message of support to deployed personnel and to acknowledge the fact that many Serving personnel are away from their families at this time of the year.” About 7,500 military personnel are currently away from home in active service or as participants in military exercises, many of whom have children at home.
On Tuesday, December 4, the royal couple will host a party in London for the families of those serving on Royal Air Force (RAF) squadrons based in two locations, RAF Coningsby and RAF Marham. The event will include a play area for children as well as lots of other fun activities for them. Among those activities will be photo booths and an area where family members can write letters to their loved ones who are currently deployed. Sharky and George will perform at the event, and family members will be able to choose from activities like decorating snow globes and stockings or making crackers. The Royal British Legion supports the party as a way to recognize the families of those serving in the RAF for the sacrifices they make.
The following day, December 5, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will depart London with all the goodies created the night before. They will fly from London to Cyprus where they will visit RAF Akrotiri. While there, they will visit with service personnel, people living on base, and members of the community. William and Kate’s trip to Cyprus will also include meetings with members of the 11 squadron which operates Typhoon Squadrons aircraft and 31 squadron which operates Tornado GR4 aircraft.
Next on the royal agenda will be a visit to the Oasis Centre, a recreational facility where RAF personnel spend their downtime. William and Kate will speak with personnel and their families at the sergeant’s mess and take a walk around the grounds. The day will end with a Christmas party that includes delivery of the gifts.