The family of five attended the monarch’s annual Christmas lunch at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday. And the festive event, which is attended by dozens of royal family members, must have worn the royal siblings out! George, 6, and Charlotte, 4, appeared to be quietly enjoying the short ride home as Louis sleepily looked out his window.
Prince William and Kate Middleton, who wore a festive red plaid ensemble, were all smiles from the front seat with William behind the wheel.
“They look after each other but in different ways,” a friend tells PEOPLE in this week’s cover story. “Some people might say it’s an old-fashioned marriage, but it seems to work.”
Next week, the family of five will travel to the Queen’s Sandringham Estate in Norfolk for Christmas with the rest of the royal family. The royals have an annual tradition of walking to church on Christmas morning together.
A source tells PEOPLE that both George and Charlotte are set to make their Christmas Day debut this year alongside parents Prince William and Kate — but that things could always change. Prince Louis, 1, made his big debut at Trooping the Colour this year, but he’s likely too young to join his parents and siblings on Christmas.
The royal family follows the tradition of opening a few presents on Christmas Eve after they’ve gathered at the Queen’s country estate in Norfolk. In lieu of expensive gifts, they exchange silly presents as a family. (Kate reportedly gave brother-in-law Prince Harry a plastic Grow Your Own Girlfriend kit one Christmas — something he won’t be needing now with wife Meghan Markle by his side!)
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Meghan, 38, and Harry, 35, previously announced they are skipping the annual holiday festivities at Sandringham this year. Meghan made her Christmas debut with the royal family in 2017 after the couple’s engagement was announced, and again in 2018 after they were married. The couple and their son Archie were absent from the Queen’s Christmas lunch on Wednesday as they are currently on a six-week break and reportedly traveling abroad.