Kensington Palace sources insisted the tour, designed to pay tribute to those who have gone “above and beyond” this year, was organised with co-operation from the UK, Welsh and Scottish Governments, highlighting that it was a working visit.
“The whole premise of the tour is to acknowledge the sacrifices made by so many this year and to thank people,” one source said. “They are working, and travelling across the border is permitted for work purposes.”
Royal sources have also insisted that it was “essential” work that could not be undertaken via Zoom.
Duke and Duchess still struggling to decide where to spend Christmas
The Cambridges also admitted that they were still struggling over their plans for Christmas.
The couple told students in Cardiff that they did not know who to spend the festive season with.
“It is so difficult, we are still trying to make plans,” the Duke said. “It’s difficult to know what to do for the best.”
Lily Faulkner, 21, a second year politics and international studies student at Cardiff University, said afterwards: “They were trying like the rest of us to make Christmas plans with their family and still weren’t 100 per cent sure of what they were going to do or where they were going to be.”
Cardiff Castle has been turned into a winter wonderland – albeit a socially-distanced one – with illuminations and a food market.
The couple grabbed sticks loaded with giant marshmallows to toast around a small bonfire with Lily and two fellow students, Azaria Anaman, 23, who is in her first year of accounting and finance, and Shahzeb Akhtar, 21, who is in his third year of studying optometry.