William and Kate meet forces serving overseas over Christmas

William and Kate meet forces serving overseas over Christmas

William and Kate meet forces serving overseas over Christmas

Prince William and Kate arrived at RAF Akrotiri this afternoon on a special ' Royal Mail ' flight loaded with gifts and cards from relatives, as they praised the men and women for doing their work "without fanfare".

The proud parents chatted happily about their children, with William telling pilots: '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?"'

"It's sad we won't be home for Christmas, but to get that personal message from them with the duke and duchess is lovely". And so do your families, some of whom we had the chance to meet yesterday at a party at Kensington Palace.

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

During the brief visit to RAF Akrotiri on the southern coast of Cyprus, William and Kate met with serving personnel, families living on the base and members of the local community. But I can't imagine how it feel when your loved ones are away on active service during Christmas.

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At the event, William gave a rousing speech to the troops, saying, "We know this isn't easy for you or your wives, husbands, children and friends back in the United Kingdom but on behalf of everyone at home, we'd like to say a big thank you".

"But on behalf of everyone back home, we would like to say thank you", William said.

Before that, he jokingly offered to step out of frame so Kate could be photographed by herself.

Their daughter Claire O'Grady and her husband Paul, known as Pablo to the family, are both RAF Wing Commanders based at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire, home to Typhoon squadrons which deploy to Cyprus and fly operations in support of Op Shader, the UK's contribution to the ongoing campaign against Isis. Five-year-old Harry is being looked after for six months by his grandparents.

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

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