Prince William & Kate: New Year's Eve in Buckleberry!

Posted Sunday January 1, 2012 4:59 PM GMT

Putting aside expected plans to usher in 2012 with Prince Charles in Scotland, Prince William and Duchess Catherine instead opted for a low-key New Year's Eve at the Middleton residence in Buckleberry, Berkshire.

The royal couple was spotted roaming the estate's grounds on Saturday afternoon (December 31), with Catherine playing with the family pooch while her brother James cruised about on an ATV.

Later in the night, Will and Kate joined family and friends in attending a NYE soiree hosted by Pippa, with the festivities taking place underneath a giant "palace-like" tent which is said to have cost a cool $5,000.

With the canopy enclosing a dancefloor and seating for 100 guests, an onlooker told UK press that Kate looked quite pleased to be back at her family's abode, saying, "[Catherine] looked full of the joys of the season."

Photo Credit: FamePictures.com