The Princess of Wales has dedicated her Christmas carol service to the late Queen, paying tribute to her “incredible legacy” which “deeply inspired many of us”.
In a special pre-recorded introduction for the festive concert, called Royal Carols: Together At Christmas, Princess Kate said she was “thrilled” to return to the abbey for a second year.
“This Christmas will be our first without Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth,” she said ahead of the service which took place at Westminster Abbey earlier this month. “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, allow us to continue Her Majesty’s tradition of recognizing 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, who spearheaded the service with support from The Royal Foundation, 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 service, which was filmed and will air on Christmas Eve on ITV, took place on 15 December, hours after the final part of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s 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. Among the performers were the Westminster Abbey choir, singer Craig David and Alfie Boe and Melanie C who sang 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.