As the world prepares for a Christmas celebration unlike any that's ever been seen before, we look to our leaders to guide us through what will hopefully be the last stage of the coronavirus pandemic.
In other words, it's not exactly ideal timing for a breach in protocol from public figures like Kate Middleton and Prince William.
Yes, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge flouted the UK's Covid restrictions this week by traveling to Sandringham Estate to hang out with Prince Andrew's family.
The situation raises several important questions:
1. Why would anyone want to hang out with Prince Andrew?
2. What would possess Will and Kate -- a couple who claim to take their roles as future leaders of the UK very seriously -- to publicly disregard the rules designed to minimize the risk of Covid transmission?
Well, there might be a reasonable answer to that second question.
First, let's establish exactly what the rule is and how it was violated.
England is currently at Tier 2, which means that gatherings of more than 6 people are forbidden.
"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," the rule states.
"This limit of six includes children of any age."
According to the Daily Mail, Will, Kate, and their kids joined up with Andrew and his family to form a group of nine.
Adding insult to injury, this melding of groups took place at an event honoring the sacrifices made by essential workers in recent months.
Yes, Will and Kate broke the rules while paying tribute to the peasants who helped keep them alive in 2020.
That's almost as much of as of a slap in the face as a $600 stimulus check!
Speaking of money, if some regular blokes were caught doing what Will and Kate did, they could've wound up paying a hefty fine.
According to the Mail, gatherings of over six are punished with "a fixed penalty notice of £200 for the first offence, doubling for each further offence up to £6,400."
We have no idea how much money that is, but it sounds like a lot!
Now to be fair, Will and Kate reportedly arrived at the evening's art installation separately from Andrew and company, and reps for the Cambridges say they maintained a safe distance when they met up later on.
(We think everyone should keep a safe distance from Prince Andrew at all times, but that's a conversation for another day.)
All of this comes on the heels of Will and Kate's Christmas card, which was actually well-received by the public, as it showed the couple's more casual side for a change.
We're guessing this latest move won't turn out to be quite as much of a publicity boon.
And yet, somehow, the polls say Kate is still more popular than Meghan in the UK.
We'll never understand you bloody Brits!