• Prince William and Kate Middleton took their children to a Christmas attraction at Sandringham Sunday, a report says
  • The Cambridges allegedly met Prince Edward's family during the outing
  • The U.K. government only allows six people, including children, to meet outdoors if they are not from the same household

Kate Middleton and Prince William recently enjoyed an outing with their three children but may have accidentally broken the U.K. government's "rule of six" after meeting Prince Edward and Sophie Wessex's family at Sandringham, a report says.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge stepped out Sunday with Prince George, 7, Princess Charlotte, 5, and Prince Louis, 2, to visit Luminate, a Christmas-themed woodland walk at the Queen's Norfolk residence, Daily Mail reported.

Photos published by the outlet claim to show the family of five mingling with the Earl and Countess of Wessex, along with their children Lady Louise Windsor, 17, and James, Viscount Severn, 13, at the public attraction. International Business Times could not independently verify if the people in the photos, which are quite blurry, are the royal family.

The two families had no intention of meeting up and arrived separately despite being seen together in the venue as a party of nine, the report said. Though they were photographed chatting on several occasions, they maintained social distancing.

The outlet noted that they inadvertently may have violated pandemic restrictions set by the U.K. government. Norfolk is in the second tier of COVID-19 restrictions, which only allows six people, including children, to meet up outdoors if they are not from the same household or support bubble, BBC reported.

"You can see friends and family you do not live with (or do not have a support bubble with) outdoors, in a group of no more than six. This limit of six includes children of any age," the U.K. government stated on its website.

There is a fixed penalty of $268 (£200) for the first offense. The amount doubles for each further offense up to $8,952 (£6,400).

Some photos allegedly show the two royal families walking as a group with their bodyguards. Prince William can be seen carrying Prince Louis on his shoulders as Prince George walks beside him. Middleton is with Charlotte, while Sophie has James behind her. Prince Edward and his daughter, Louise, walked behind them.

Priti Patel, secretary of state for the U.K.'s Home Department, told the BBC back in September that she considers two families of four stopping for a chat on the way to the park "absolutely mingling."

"The rule of six is about making sure that people are being conscientious and not putting other people's health at risk," she explained. "Mingling is people coming together. That is my definition of mingling."

Earlier this month, Buckingham Palace announced that Queen Elizabeth canceled the royal family's annual holiday celebration at her Sandringham estate due to the pandemic. The sovereign and Prince Philip will spend Christmas at Windsor Castle this year.

prince william and kate middleton
In this screengrab, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Catherine Duchess of Cambridge, Prince George of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte of Cambridge and Prince Louis of Cambridge clap for NHS carers as part of the BBC Children In Need and Comic Relief "Big Night In" at London on April 23, 2020 in London, England. Comic Relief/BBC Children in Need/Comic Relief via Getty Images