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Senior royals to be seen together for first time since racism row

King Charles and Queen Camilla arriving for the morning service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk
The King is not expected to be involved in discussions about legal action against Omid Scobie - GEOFF ROBINSON/GEOFF ROBINSON PHOTOGRAPHY

Senior members of the Royal family will put on a united front on Tuesday as they will be pictured together for the first time since being thrust into the heart of a racism row.

The King and Queen will be joined by the Prince and Princess of Wales at a diplomatic reception at Buckingham Palace.

It will be the first time all four have been seen together since it emerged that the Duchess of Sussex had accused the King and the Princess of making comments about the skin colour of her son, Prince Archie.

Members of the Royal family traditionally gather en masse for the annual white-tie reception to honour several hundred foreign and British diplomats.

They will again rally around the Princess on Friday as she hosts her annual carol concert, Together at Christmas.

The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester are expected to assemble at Westminster Abbey for the service. Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie and Mike and Zara Tindall are also thought to be on the guest list.

Prince George, 10, and Princess Charlotte, eight, who stole the show last year in coordinated festive outfits, will almost certainly join their parents, while Prince Louis, five, could make his debut.

Princess Charlotte and Prince George at last year's Together at Christmas carol service at Westminster Abbey
Princess Charlotte stole the show at last year's Together at Christmas carol service - JAMES MANNING/PA

The King and Queen, who attended the event last year, are unable to make the concert due to long-standing commitments elsewhere.

The so-called racism row first emerged over a letter the Duchess sent to the King in 2021. The alleged names of those involved were published in the Dutch translation of a new book, Endgame, by Omid Scobie, last week.

The Sussexes have declined to publicly defend their relatives and the publisher has also remained tight-lipped about how the names emerged in print.

Meanwhile, senior advisers from Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace were due to hold high-level discussions about how to respond.

Royal sources insisted that they would not be rushed into a decision as they debate whether to take legal action against Scobie, the publisher and the media organisations who have named them.

Neither the King nor the Princess are expected to be involved in the talks but will be updated should the need arise, The Telegraph understands.

Separately, aides are also said to have conducted an investigation into how the contents of the Duchess’s letter to the King may have found its way to Scobie.

Just a “tiny handful” of family members and staff are known to have seen the letters, leading them to conclude that the information was not leaked in the UK.

Representatives for the Sussexes have insisted that the Duchess had no wish for the identities to be publicly revealed and that the letter had not been shared by anyone in their camp.

The Prince and Princess of Wales go to the Royal Variety Performance at the Royal Albert Hall
Royal aides are said to have conducted an investigation into how the contents of the Duchess’s letter to the King may have found its way to Scobie - SHUTTERSTOCK/SHUTTERSTOCK

The Together at Christmas service is arranged by the Princess to honour those who have gone above and beyond to help others throughout the year.

This year, it will celebrate “the golden opportunity” of new birth.

The service will be linked to the Princess’s work on the early years, recognising the efforts of those who work with babies and young families.

The congregation will be packed with midwives, health visitors, early years practitioners, nursery teachers and community volunteers.

Readings will be delivered by speakers including the Prince, Micheal Ward, Emma Willis, Roman Kemp and Jim Broadbent. A specially commissioned poem written by Joseph Coelho, the Children’s Laureate, will be read by Leonie Elliott.

The Westminster Abbey choir will perform and there will be performances by guests including Beverley Knight, Adam Lambert, Jacob Collier, Freya Ridings and James Bay.

The service, now in its third year, is broadcast on Christmas Eve on ITV.

Kensington Palace has refused to comment publicly about the scandal, which has been branded an “unwelcome distraction” from official duties.

However, when the Sussexes first raised their claims in an interview with Oprah Winfrey in March 2021, Prince William was said to be furious. He told journalists a few days later: “We are very much not a racist family.”

The Prince and Princess might be forgiven a touch of deja vu as last year’s carol concert was held in the face of public criticism from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in their Netflix documentary series.

The service was held after Prince Harry made explicit allegations about his brother, alleging that he had broken a pledge never to let the “institution” come between them and that the palace had “lied” to protect his older brother.