Prince William jokes that Kate Middleton is dressed like a Christmas tree

Kate Middleton Prince William

William, 36, and Kate welcomed more than 200 wives, girlfriends, parents and grandparents to Kensington Palace where a Christmas grotto was created for children to make crackers, decorate stockings or make chocolate truffles.

Numerous presents had been given to the royal couple yesterday at a party they threw at Kensington Palace in London for the wives, husbands, children and parents of staff from RAF Coningsby and RAF Marham, who will be spending Christmas away from home.

As artificial snow fell, William chucked artificial snowballs at a children's entertainer, and Kate was caught in the crossfire.

"The absence of people you love must be especially hard at this time of year", Kate continued.

William also spoke with a group of pilots and was overheard saying, "I told George this morning we were going to see the pilots today, and he said, 'If you see a helicopter, can you take a picture?'" "On behalf of everyone back home, we would like to say thank you", the duke said.

The event, in partnership with the Royal British Legion charity, was held just steps from where Wills and Kate live with Prince George, 5, Princess Charlotte, 3, and Prince Louis, 7 months.

Kate Middleton and Prince William at the Oasis Centre with RAF soldiers in Cyprus
Kate Middleton and Prince William at the Oasis Centre with RAF soldiers in Cyprus

Earlier the duchess had chatted to Barrie, 72, and Ann Macdonald, 70, from Manchester who are looking after their five-year-old grandson Harry while his parents are deployed overseas at Christmas.

She, along with Prince William, paid a visit to Cyprus to attend the opening of Oasis, a recreation center where servicemen can get some quiet time to contact their families.

They met personnel from 11 and 31 Squadrons, operating Typhoon and Tornado aircraft, who have been flying missions in support of Operation SHADER, the UK's contribution to the ongoing campaign against Isis in Syria and Iraq.

William and Kate met a boy whose dad is in Cyprus, while his mum posted to Afghanistan.

The couple said they had handed over a present of a bottle of aftershave for William and Kate to take over to Cyprus.

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