CATHERINE, Princess of Wales has dedicated her annual carol service to the late Queen Elizabeth.
The 40-year-old royal also said the pre-recorded service from Westminster Abbey, London – due to be shown on Christmas Eve – was also for “all those who are sadly no longer with us”.
Opening up about the Queen’s love for the festive period as it was a “time which brings people together” and “reminds us all of important values”, the mum-of-three said in an introduction filmed for ‘Royal Carols: Together at Christmas’: “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.”
Catherine first held the even last year before it was brought back, and will be shown by ITV.
Her latest message about the concert comes after she appeared in a trailer for the show earlier this week in which she urged TV viewers to watch the “very special” event.
The programme will be broadcast at 7pm on ITV on Christmas Eve after it was filmed on December 15 at Westminster Abbey – the same day the Duke and Duchess of Sussex released the second ‘volume’ of their Netflix show ‘Harry and Meghan’ which contained a litany of attacks on the royal family including an accusation it suffered from racial “unconscious bias”.
Princess Catherine was joined at the service by her husband William, Prince of Wales, and their children Prince George, nine, and Princess Charlotte, seven, though their third child Prince Louis, four, wasn’t in attendance.
King Charles, Queen Consort Camilla, Sophie, Countess of Wessex, as well as Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice were also guests at the service.
The Westminster Abbey choir will perform some of Britain’s most beloved carols including ‘O Come, All Ye Faithful’ for the service, which will include musical performances by guests including Craig David, Samantha Barks, Melanie C and Alfie Boe.
Readings will be delivered by speakers including Prince William, Dame Kristin Scott Thomas and Hugh Bonneville.
William and Kate attended the service amid reports she and her husband have not watched the ‘Harry and Meghan’ Netflix show, in which Prince Harry, 38, claimed William allegedly broke a pact they made about not letting their offices trade negative stories to the press about each other.
Harry also said his older brother screamed at him during his talks to exit the royal family for a new life in America with his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, 41.
Catherine’s service was sponsored by the Royal Foundation and paid tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth II, who died on September 8 aged 96 at her Balmoral estate.
It has been billed as a recognition of the “selfless efforts of individuals, families and communities across the UK, and celebrate and showcase the joy that human connection and togetherness can bring”.
A Christmas tree in the abbey was decorated with small Paddington Bear toys, which was seen as a tribute to the late Queen’s famous TV sketch to mark her Platinum Jubilee which saw the monarch share marmalade sandwiches with an animated version of the character.
Royal Carols: Together at Christmas airs on ITV1 on Christmas Eve at 7pm