Catherine, Princess of Wales is returning to Westminster Abbey to host a Christmas carol service celebrating “selfless” people and the late Queen Elizabeth’s life.
She will front the event on Thursday 15 December to honour the efforts of “individuals, families and communities across the UK”, its broadcaster ITV announced on Friday night. (04.11.22)
The royal last year hosted the ‘Together at Christmas’ carol service at the Abbey, attended by “unsung heroes” from across Britain in recognition of their “inspirational” achievements in protecting and caring for those around them.
Katie Rawcliffe, ITV’s head of entertainment commissioning said about this year’s upcoming service: “It is a real honour to be the broadcast partner for the Royal Carols again this year. Viewers are in for a very special festive treat.”
ITV added the service will “highlight the remarkable impact that coming together to support others can have for us all”.
It said: “Spearheaded by the princess, and supported by The Royal Foundation, the carol service will celebrate and showcase the joy that human connection can bring: forging friendships and strengthening communities, creating legacies of humility and kindness, whilst also providing relief and comfort in times of difficulty or loss.
“The service will combine both traditional and modern elements, reaching people of all faiths and none.”
It said about other royals joining the service on their first Christmas together since the Queen’s death in September aged 96: “Attended by members of the royal family, this year’s service will also pay tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the values she demonstrated throughout her life, including empathy, compassion and support for others.
“These principles are shared and personified by the inspirational guests who have been invited to the Abbey from across the UK in recognition of their tireless efforts to help and care for those around them.
“The carol service will see Westminster Abbey filled with festive decorations, providing a beautiful Christmas backdrop from which the world-renowned Abbey Choir will perform some of the nation’s most beloved carols, alongside a number of captivating musical performances and poignant readings delivered by a range of special guests.”
ITV added the congregation will include “charity workers and grassroots community volunteers” as well as “frontline workers and armed forces personnel”.
It said: “They will be joined by those working in some of the key focus areas of the Princess of Wales’ work through ‘The Royal Foundation’, including support for families, driving awareness of and action around early childhood, and promoting the importance of mental health.
“It will also consist of those who may be more vulnerable or isolated in our communities – including people who might find the winter period particularly challenging.”
The ‘Royal Carols: Together At Christmas’ show – for which mum-of-three Catherine, 40, was last year filmed playing piano – will air on ITV and ITVX on Christmas Eve.