The Princess of Wales has dedicated a Christmas carol service to the late Queen, paying tribute to her “incredible legacy” which “deeply inspired many of us”.
Kate pre-recorded her introductory message earlier this month amid final preparations for the festive concert to more than 1,800 people at Westminster Abbey.
The service, which was filmed and will air on Christmas Eve on ITV, took place on Thursday December 15, hours after the final part of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s controversial documentary dropped on Netflix.
Kate was joined by many members of the extended royal family including the Prince of Wales and their children Prince George and Princess Charlotte, and the King and Queen Consort.
Introducing the programme, the princess, who spearheaded the service with support from The Royal Foundation, said she was “thrilled” to return to the abbey for a second year.
She said: “This Christmas will be our first without Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth.
“Her Majesty held Christmas close to her heart, as a time that brought people together and reminded us of the importance of faith, friendship and family, and to show empathy and compassion.
“This year, we’ve invited hundreds of inspiring individuals to the service.
“Those who showcase the power of connectedness and community values, allowing us to continue Her Majesty’s tradition of recognising and thanking those who have gone above and beyond to support others.
“Her Majesty leaves with us an incredible legacy and one that has deeply inspired many of us.”
Kate dedicated the service to the Queen and to “all those who are sadly no longer with us”.
She added: “So, whilst Christmas will feel very different this year, we can still remember the memories and traditions we shared.
“Take time to slow down and celebrate with family and friends all the wonderful things that make Christmas so special.”
The broadcast will also show Inna Hryhorovych, headmistress of St Mary’s Ukrainian School in London, receiving a letter from Kate thanking her for the care she provides to families and children attending the school amid the conflict in their home nation.
In the letter dated November 18, Kate praises the school as a “lifeline for the whole community” and said she had been struck by their “courage and sense of togetherness during such a challenging time”, inviting Ms Hryhorovych and the school choir to sing a carol at the service.
Among the performers were the Westminster Abbey choir, singer Craig David and Alfie Boe and Melanie C who sung a duet, while William and Dame Kristin Scott Thomas delivered readings.
A Christmas tree in the abbey was decorated with small Paddington Bear decorations, a nod to the late Queen’s famous sketch, while guests were greeted with atmospheric snowflakes from a snow machine as they arrived at the entrance.
Narrated by Catherine Zeta-Jones, Royal Carols: Together At Christmas will air at 7pm on Christmas Eve on ITV1.
Published: 23/12/2022 by Radio NewsHub