Revealed: The Surprising Way Prince William and Kate Middleton Spent Their Kids’ School Holiday

While Prince William, Kate Middleton, and their children have enjoyed ski vacations during their February holidays in the past, this year they took a decidedly quieter vacation that allowed plenty of quality family time.

Kate Middleton and Prince William
Prince William and Kate Middleton | NEIL HANNA/AFP/Getty Images

Prince William and Kate Middleton took a break from official engagements

Prince William and Kate Middleton tend to have a calendar full of official engagements, but last week they didn’t have anything booked because their children had a half term holiday from school.

The lack of events and appearances meant they could dedicate their attention to Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis, so they reportedly left the capital and spent some time at their country home, Anmer Hall, in Norfolk.

The kids had special time with their mum

While few details are known about the week of downtime, Kate was said to have taken the two older children to a nearby luxury hotel so the kids could swim at the pool.

A source told the Daily Mail: “Both the children swam unaided and were super confident. They went under the quite forceful jets in the water. Kate politely asked us if it was ok for them to switch it on.”

It was all a pretty regular mother and children scene, as the eyewitness noted: “They were doing little jumps off the side into her arms. Kate did not move from their sides. George did ask to go outside to use the hot tub but she said ‘No.’”

Charlotte reportedly did “little duck dives off the side of the pool” and shouted, “Look mummy I’m diving in.” Middleton also assisted George with a little swim race, as the source shared: “She said ‘ready, steady go’ and did a downward chopping action in the water to indicate the start of the race.”

Middleton and the children then used the sauna and steam room. It’s believed that Prince Louis likely spent the day at home with Prince William or their nanny.

Why did the family opt for the country home vacation?

It’s unclear why the royal family didn’t escape to a more fun-packed vacation destination, but the couple often spends time at their country home, splitting their time between the sprawling Anmer Hall and their apartment at Kensington Palace.

PEOPLE noted that this lifestyle is typical for members of the royal family, with Prince Charles splitting his time between Clarence house in London and his country home in Tetbury, Gloucestershire. Queen Elizabeth also travels between Windsor Castle and Sandringham Estate in Norfolk.

According to a report from The Week, Prince William and Kate Middleton see Anmer Hall as their family home. Renovations to the mansion helped with improving privacy, likely making the country estate a nice change of scenery from the everyday attention they typically receive.

A source told The Telegraph that the area “is certainly not a social hotbed” and that the family has security on duty, with all visitors “closely monitored.”

After the birth of Princess Charlotte, police in a Norfolk village near Anmer Hall gave letters to the media asking them to respect the family’s privacy.

The letter explained: “There have in the past been a number of intrusions into the privacy of the Royal Family… of professional photographers using long-distance lenses, not only to observe the Royal Family, but also to photograph them going about their activities on the estate.”