The Princess of Wales has dedicated a carol service to the Queen, saying this Christmas will feel “very different” without the late monarch.
In a pre-recorded introductory message for the Together at Christmas carol service, Kate says the Queen “held Christmas close to her heart” and “leaves with us an incredible legacy”.
The service itself was filmed earlier on 15 December – just hours after the final part of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s controversial documentary dropped on Netflix – and was attended by more than 1,800 people at Westminster Abbey.
Image: Kate pays tribute to the Queen in a pre-recorded message for the carol service
Image: Queen Elizabeth II and the Duchess of Cambridge during a visit to King’s College London in 2019 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 – which will air on ITV on Christmas Eve – 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.
Image: Hugh Bonneville reading an extract from Paddington’s Christmas Post
Image: Alfie Boe and Melanie C perform 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.”
A service dedicated to the Queen
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.”
Image: Nicola Adams during the ‘Together at Christmas’ Carol Service
Image: Dame Kristen Scott Thomas reading Michael Guite’s poem, Refugee 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.
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.
Image: The St Mary’s Ukrainian Choir performs