Earlier this month, Kate Middleton was spotted arriving at Westminster Abbey in London to film a mysterious Christmas carol concert. The TV special was later revealed to be hosted by the Duchess of Cambridge herself as a tribute to the frontline workers, carers, and community volunteers who helped others throughout the pandemic, announced with a charming trailer that saw Middleton wear a delightfully festive Miu Miu cardigan. Finally, on Christmas Eve, Royal Carols: Together At Christmas premiered on the British broadcaster ITV—and with an unexpected surprise.
As part of the concert, Middleton debuted her skills as a pianist publicly for the first time: a childhood passion that she re-embraced during last year’s lockdown. She accompanied the Scottish singer-songwriter Tom Walker for a performance of his song ‘For Those Who Can’t Be Here’ after the pair first met at a charity event in October and the Duchess was impressed by his talent. Also on the lineup were Leona Lewis, Ellie Goulding—who played at Middleton’s wedding reception in 2011—and the Westminster Abbey choir performing a selection of Christmas carols.
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“Music was so important to me during the pandemic as I think it was to so many people too,” said the Duchess during the service. “But above all, it’s about celebrating the goodwill, the acts of kindness, love, empathy, and compassion to help people come through these difficult times.”
For the performance, which was recorded earlier this month on the day before the service under strict secrecy in the Chapter House at Westminster Abbey, Middleton wore the same sleek scarlet coat dress with a bow detail by Catherine Walker paired with her trusty Gianvito Rossi heels in a matching shade of red. (As well as being a perennial favorite of Princess Diana’s, Walker has become one of Middleton’s go-to designers over the years.)
Despite Middleton’s Christmas-appropriate attire, however, it was the sentiment behind the service—and, of course, her efforts to add a little sparkle via her impressive performance—that resonated most. “We’ve been through such a bleak time,” she said. “We’ve seen so many challenges, we’ve lost our loved ones. We’ve seen our frontline workers under immense pressure. And, also, we’ve been more emotionally, and socially, distanced and isolated from each other. But I suppose through that separation we’ve also realized how much we need each other—and how acts of kindness and love can really bring us comfort and relief in times of distress.” That’s a message we can surely all get behind this holiday season. Watch the full performance below.
Originally published in Vogue.com