Prince William busy with military on Christmas Day

Home for the holidays? Not Prince William.

Last Updated: Dec 22, 2010, 00:27 AM IST

London: Home for the holidays? Not Prince
William.

The soon-to-be-married prince`s military commitment
will spare him and Kate Middleton the sometimes agonising
choice that bedevils many young couples in the months before a
wedding: Which side of the family to spend Christmas with.

The choice between Queen Elizabeth II`s Sandringham
Estate in rural Norfolk, where the royal family usually spends
Christmas, and the Middletons` more modest but still spacious
residence west of London has been taken out of William`s hands
by the Ministry of Defense.

The second in line to the British throne will be on
military assignment on Christmas Day, keeping him away from
the royal family`s traditional celebration. The assignment
gives him an airtight excuse: Neither side of the family can
be offended, since the young man will be doing his patriotic
duty.

If William has mince pie - a sugary English holiday
staple often made with fruit and raisins - it will probably be
industrial strength, mass produced fare at the Royal Air Force
base on Anglesey island off the coast of Wales where he serves
as a helicopter rescue pilot.

That doesn`t necessarily mean he`ll be roughing it
with the guys.

It`s possible Middleton will be in Wales with him, if
she opts for some private time with her fiance rather than a
holiday with her parents, brother and sister in Bucklebury,
the prosperous country village 50 miles (80 kilometres) west
of London they call home.

Middleton`s decision may offer insight into her
priorities, but the public probably won`t find out until the
last minute as the palace refuses to disclose her holiday
plans.

Joe Little, managing editor of Majesty magazine, said
Middleton will likely spend Christmas with her family.

"This would be her last non-royal Christmas," he said.
"In the past, once you marry into the fold, you`re expected to
be at Sandringham forevermore, but that may be changing these
days. Once they`re married, I think they`ll be at Sandringham
occasionally but not every year."

He said William has made clear he wants the Middletons
to be included in many activities rather than become outcasts
after the wedding, as has happened with royal in-laws in the
past.

PTI