The Princess of Wales has told how her special Westminster Abbey carol service is dedicated to the late Queen ‘and to all those who are sadly no longer with us’.
In an introduction filmed for Royal Carols: Together At Christmas — which will be broadcast tomorrow — Kate talks emotionally of Queen Elizabeth’s affinity with the festive period ‘as a time which brings people together and reminds us all of important values’.
The 40-year-old royal held her first event last year, which was such a success that she decided to bring it back – in the likelihood that it could become an annual fixture. She said: ‘Last year’s event reminded me what I love most about Christmas, seeing people coming together, celebrating and experiencing special moments, whilst also thinking about the year that’s passed.
‘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.’
The Princess of Wales has told how her special Westminster Abbey carol service is dedicated to the late Queen ‘and to all those who are sadly no longer with us’
Kate spoke emotionally of Queen Elizabeth II’s affinity with the festive period ‘as a time which brings people together and reminds us all of important values’
This year, the Princess has invited hundreds of ‘inspiring individuals’ to the service to recognise their contributions up and down the country. She described them as: ‘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.’
And she added: ‘Her Majesty leaves with us an incredible legacy and one that has deeply inspired many of us. This year’s carol service is dedicated to her and to all those who are sadly no longer with us.
‘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.’
In a £400 black sequin knit crop cardigan, from Self Portrait, she recorded her the message last week during a visit to the Abbey amid final preparations for the service.
The St Marys Ukrainian Choir perform during the ‘Together at Christmas’ Carol Service at Westminster Abbey
King Charles III, Camilla the Queen Consort, Prince William, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Kate Princess of Wales and the Sophie, Countess of Wessex during the ‘Together at Christmas’ Carol Service at Westminster Abbey
Supported by the Royal Foundation, the service was held at Westminster Abbey on December 15 and was attended by scores of senior royals including Their Majesties The King and Queen Consort.
The programme, which will air on ITV1 tomorrow at 7pm, is narrated by Catherine Zeta-Jones, and features tributes to Her Majesty The Queen and short films highlighting individuals who go above and beyond to support others.
One of the people that the Princess was keen to highlight was Inna Hryhorovych, headmistress of St Mary’s Ukrainian School in London, whose workload has increased dramatically since the start of the conflict in Ukraine.
The Princess of Wales (pictured right with the late Queen) 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’
Ms Hryhorovych is seen receiving a letter from Kate thanking her for the care she provides to the families and children attending the school.
In the letter, the Princess also invites Ms Hryhorovych and the St Mary’s Ukrainian School choir to sing a carol at the Westminster Abbey service.
Their beautiful performance of Away In A Manger can be heard alongside musical star turns by the Westminster Abbey choir, pop star Craig David, soulman Alexis Ffrench, and a special duet by tenor Alfie Boe and former Spice Girl Melanie C. Readings were delivered by the Prince of Wales, actress Dame Kristin Scott Thomas and boxer Nicola Adams.
In an article in The Spectator, actress Sophie Winkleman – married to Lord Frederick Windsor, the son of Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, who is 52nd in line to the throne — has praised senior royals for being ‘so hard-working, uncomplaining and brave’ in the face of ‘undermining and fictional TV programmes about the family’.
The actress, 42, best known as Big Suze in the comedy Peep Show, joined senior royals for the carol concert at Westminster Abbey.