By PEOPLE.COM/Stephanie Petit
Dec 08, 2018 @ 1:00 pm

Many royal fans hoped that Prince William and Kate Middleton would bring their children to a Christmas party for military families at Kensington Palace on Tuesday – but the royal dad had a relatable reason for their absence.

While William, 36, crouched down to make truffles with children during the bash, one woman in attendance asked why he had not brought his own children – Prince George, 5, Princess Charlotte, 3, and Prince Louis, 7 months – to take part in the festivities.

“Because I can’t do this and look after the children!” William replied.

Steve Parsons

Although Prince Louis would be too young to participate in the activities at the party — like decorating crackers, making holiday cards and playing party games — George and Charlotte are the perfect age for the Christmas fun. Of course, they’re both busy at school during the day.

So their parents had fun for all of them! William and Kate helped make the festive treats and cards and joined in one game, Santa’s Footsteps, in which they had to pretend to be reindeer seeking sweets. Kate also briefly joined in a snowball fight with the children before handing her cotton wool snowballs over to the kids.

During the family’s 2016 tour of Canada, George and Charlotte attended a party for military families, stealing the show with their cute antics. George showed off his bubble blowing skills and sat atop a caramel-and-white colored pony, while a young Charlotte was fascinated by a balloon arch.

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Although George and Charlotte missed out on Tuesday’s Christmas celebrations, they’re getting into the holiday spirit themselves. Kate was excited to gush about her children during her joint visit with William to Leicester last week.

“They’re doing well, thank you,” she told a fan who asked about the little royals in a video shared by Harry_Meghan_Updates on Instagram. “They’re getting excited for Christmas time, because they’ve started all their Christmas songs and the Christmas trees are going up.”

This article originally appeared on People. For more stories like this, visit people.com.

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