Where is Duchess Kate spending New Year’s Eve? Looks like it’s in her hometown of Bucklebury, England, judging from a report today in People.The magazine is reporting that Kate joined sister Pippa Middleton for a party on Monday afternoon at an unnamed friend’s house near her parents’ estate in the countryside 50 miles outside London.
“Kate looked incredible,” the magazine quoted a fellow partygoer. “She was very jolly and very happy.”
She had just come from spending Christmas with Prince William and baby Prince George at Sandringham, the vast Norfolk estate where most of the royal family join Queen Elizabeth II for the holiday every year. British media reports said the Cambridges were expected to spend New Year’s with the Middletons.
Whereas celebrations at royal Sandringham are traditional, formal and dressy, the party in Bucklebury was relaxed and low-key. No paparazzi in sight.
“The thing that really strikes you is that she is just so normal and smiley,” the partygoer said. “There are no lights on Kate here, so she can be totally relaxed and herself.”
The new year is shaping up to be busy for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Starting in January, William will be spending 10 weeks at the University of Cambridge taking a course in running a modern U.K. agricultural business, in preparation for his future as head of the agricultural Duchy of Cornwall once his father becomes king.
And in April both of them and the baby will head off for an eagerly anticipated tour of New Zealand and Australia, following in the footsteps of William’s parents, Prince Charles and Princess Diana, who took him on a tour of Down Under just months after he was born 31 years ago.