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Every year, the royals gather together at Sandringham House to spend the holidays with the Queen and Prince Philip. Even Duchess Kate‘s parents, Michael and Carole Middleton hang out in the Cambridges’ nearby country home so they can join in the festivities. After all, Elizabeth and Carole are tight, remember? But this year is going to be a little different.

According to the Telegraph, William and Kate (and Carole) are skipping out on the royals and keeping it low-key by spending Christmas in Bucklebury, her parents’ home and where Pippa‘s wedding reception will be held.

This marks the second time Will and Kate will miss Christmas with the Windsors (the first was in 2012 when Kate was pregnant with George and super-sick and needed her mom’s TLC.

Getty Images
Getty Images

For all those who think this is a royal slight, think again. We all know nothing fazes the Queen and the Cambridges’ absence is totally fine. Sure, they’ll be missed but she understands.

“Her Majesty understands that it is a dilemma that many young couples face and acknowledges how close Catherine’s relationship is with her family,” a royal source told the Daily Mail. “Indeed that is why she has long included Mr and Mrs Middleton in family events. She thinks they have conducted themselves impeccably and with enormous dignity over the years.”

The Queen will have the rest of the family around including Charles and Camilla, Harry, the Tindalls and her corgis.

So, the Middletons get George and Charlotte this year and next year will probably be a royal affair once again — hopefully with Meghan Markle and new grandbabies too. This is what happens with families nowadays, isn’t it? Wow, Will and Kate really are just like us.

Getty Images
Getty Images

OK, maybe not exactly like us. But close.