Princess Kate has established a Christmas tradition of hosting a carol concert in the lead-up to the holidays over the past few years. While this year's event has not been officially confirmed, details have inadvertently surfaced on the royal family's website. An announcement made on behalf of the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester has confirmed that the event will take place on December 8th, once again at Westminster Abbey. The website's upcoming events section includes the statement: “The Duke of Gloucester and The Duchess of Gloucester will attend a Carol Service hosted by The Princess of Wales at Westminster Abbey, London.”
The Duke of Gloucester, a first cousin of the late Queen, actively represents King Charles III and engages in hundreds of official duties each year. Last year, King Charles, Queen Camilla, and the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh were among the attendees at the “Together At Christmas” carol concert, the second annual one hosted by the Princess of Wales. Prince George and Princess Charlotte, the two oldest children of Kate and Prince William, made a surprise appearance, warmly greeting their grandfather, the King, with two kisses when they met inside the Abbey. Although Prince Louis didn't attend the concert, he was seen with his family during their traditional Christmas Day church visit at Sandringham, raising hopes for his participation in this year's event.
The usual practice is to record the concert in advance and air it on ITV on Christmas Eve. The service from the previous year held particular significance as it paid homage to the late Queen Elizabeth II. This was evident in the Christmas tree's decoration, which featured Paddington Bear ornaments as a tribute to the Queen's surprise appearance with the beloved animated character at her Platinum Jubilee Concert.
Before last year's concert, HELLO! had an exclusive conversation with London-based illustrator Aurelie Baudry Palmer, the artist responsible for Kate's festive invitation. During the interview, it was disclosed that the Princess had made a last-minute change to the invitation to honor the late Queen's memory.
The artist expressed, “Being approached by Kensington Palace to create the announcement for the Princess of Wales' carol service at Westminster Abbey was a tremendous honor. When they reached out, it was truly a surreal moment for me! This project had a relatively short timeframe, and I aimed to allow ample time for feedback, including the incorporation of corgis.”
Aurelie, greatly pleased by the favorable responses, remarked, “I am absolutely thrilled that my work has been widely shared and to have a small role in such a considerate community carol concert.”
I devoted three days to creating the illustration, documenting the drawing process as I went along and sharing my progress with the Kensington Palace team to ensure it met their expectations. It took several hours to complete, which was a bit longer than the creation of the beautiful 22-second clip that was assembled afterward.
One noteworthy absence at the previous year's carol concert was Princess Anne, who couldn't attend due to a scheduling conflict. Instead, she made an appearance at the London International Horse Show.