Kate Middleton Plays Royal Hostess at Her Third Christmas Carol Concert at Westminster Abbey

The Princess of Wales started a new royal holiday tradition in 2021

<p>HENRY NICHOLLS/AFP via Getty</p> Kate Middleton attends Christmas concert on Dec. 8, 2023


Kate Middleton attends Christmas concert on Dec. 8, 2023

Kate Middleton is keeping up a new Christmas tradition!

On Friday, the Princess of Wales stepped out at Westminster Abbey for the third annual holiday carol concert. Princess Kate, 41, started the tradition in 2021 and is still going strong.

The London venue, decked out in Christmas trees, wreaths and other holiday decor for the festive evening, also has a very special meaning for the royal — it's where she wed Prince William in April 2011!

Princess Kate arrived at the event — wearing head-to-toe winter white! — and greeted the clergy and some of the evening's performers before the service began.

This year's event — featuring performances by Westminster Abbey's choir, Adam Lambert, Beverley Knight, Jacob Collier, Freya Ridings and James Bay — is linked to Princess Kate’s Shaping Us campaign, which focuses on her mission to support children during the early years of their lives. The palace said the event was organized to “thank all those who work to support babies, young children and families in our communities across the U.K. and a celebration of the golden opportunity that the birth of a new baby brings."

<p>James Veysey/Shutterstock</p> Kate Middleton hosts Christmas concert on Dec. 8, 2023

James Veysey/Shutterstock

Kate Middleton hosts Christmas concert on Dec. 8, 2023

Prince William is set to do a reading during the service, along with additional readings from Micheal Ward, Emma Willis, Roman Kemp and Jim Broadbent. A specially commissioned poem written by Joseph Coelho, the Children’s Laureate, was also delivered by Leonie Elliott.

Princess Kate was supported by family at the event, including her parents — Carole and Michael Middleton — and sister Pippa. Members of the royal family in attendance included Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, Peter Phillips and more.

The event will be broadcast as part of Royal Carols: Together At Christmas, airing on ITV1 and ITV X on Christmas Eve. The television broadcast will feature additional content including an introduction from Princess Kate, films that highlight the importance of early childhood and celebrations of the contributions people in our communities are making to support the very youngest members of our society during those crucial early years.

Related: Queen of Christmas! See All of Kate Middleton's Impeccable Holiday Looks Through the Years

<p>Chris Jackson/Getty</p> Kate Middleton hosts Christmas concert on Dec. 8, 2023

Chris Jackson/Getty

Kate Middleton hosts Christmas concert on Dec. 8, 2023

The inaugural Christmas concert hosted by Kate was held at Westminster Abbey on Dec. 8, 2021. Kate surprised viewers with her first public piano performance, accompanying Tom Walker as he sang "For Those Who Can't Be Here."

Though the Princess of Wales didn’t play piano at the 2022 show on Dec. 15, 2022, the festive event was again held to bring together members of the royal family with charity staff, community volunteers, frontline workers, military personnel and more to "celebrate the joy that human connection can bring," Buckingham Palace said.

Last year’s program was woven with tributes to Queen Elizabeth, who died in September 2022 at age 96.

"This carol service is dedicated to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and to all those who are sadly no longer with us. Her Late Majesty's strongly held values of duty, compassion and faith have guided the creation of this service," a message inside the program for Royal Carols: Together at Christmas read.

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As the service began, a film played highlighting how the late Queen was at the heart of Christmas Day for so many people with her annual holiday address. Prince William also gave a poignant reading and revisited his late grandmother's Christmas broadcast from 2012.

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