Princess Kate has been making her own tradition over the past few years by hosting a carol concert in the run-up to Christmas. One for this year hasn’t officially been confirmed, but details about it have accidentally emerged on the royal family’s official website.
An announcement from the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester confirmed that the event will be taking place on 8 December. It also revealed that the service would be held in Westminster Abbey once again.
An excerpt from the royal family’s website that listed their upcoming engagements read: “The Duke of Gloucteser, The Duchess of Gloucester will attend a Carol Service held by The Princess of Wales in Westminster Abbey, London.
“The event has been held for the past two years and is attended by members of the royal family and other high-profile guests. Last year, King Charles, Queen Camilla and the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh were among the guests.
Kate and Prince William’s two oldest children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte also made a surprise appearance with George and Charlotte sweetly greeting their grandfather with two kisses when they crossed paths inside the Abbey.
Although Prince Louis didn’t make an appearance at the concert, he was seen with his family at their annual church visit on Christmas Day at Sandringham, so perhaps he’ll make an appearance this year.
The concert is typically pre-recorded and then broadcast on ITV on Christmas Eve. Last years’ service was especially poignant as it paid tribute to the late Queen, with a Christmas tree decorated in Paddington Bear decorations in a nod to her surprise appearance at her Platinum Jubilee Concert.
Ahead of last year’s concert, HELLO! spoke exclusively to London-based illustrator Aurelie Baudry Palmer – the artist behind Kate’s festive invitation, who revealed that the Princess had requested a last-minute change in order to honour the late Queen.
The artist revealed: “It was such an honour to be approached by Kensington Palace to illustrate the announcement for the Princess of Wales‘ carol service at Westminster Abbey. It was definitely a ‘pinch-me’ moment when they got in touch! This commission was a fairly quick turnaround, and I also wanted to leave plenty of time for feedback – like the addition of corgis!”
Blown away by the positive feedback, Aurelie added: “I’m over the moon my work has been shared so widely, and also to play a small part in such a thoughtful community carol concert.
“I worked on the illustration over three days, filming as I drew and showing the progress to the Kensington Palace’s team as I went along to make sure I was on the right track. It certainly took a few hours… a little longer than the beautiful 22-second clip that was put together afterwards.”
One noticeable absence from last year’s carol concert was Princess Anne who was unable to attend as the Princess Royal had a schedule conflict, instead appearing at the London International Horse Show at ExCel London.