"Her Majesty held Christmas close to her heart, as a time that brought people together," said Princess Kate Middleton.
During the holidays, Kate Middleton is honoring the beloved late Queen Elizabeth II. In a brand-new recording that debuts at the start of her carol service's television broadcast, the Princess of Wales remarks that the late Queen and her family treasured their Christmas. "Her Majesty held Christmas close to her heart, as a time that brought people together and reminded us of the importance of faith, friendship and family, and to show empathy and compassion," Kate, 40, said, per PEOPLE.
She stated this when Westminster Abbey was getting ready for the ceremony on December 15th. The Princess of Wales hosted the event to recognize people for their duty and service over the past 12 months for the second consecutive year. On December 24, it will be broadcast on ITV1 as part of the Together at Christmas special, which is narrated by Catherine Zeta-Jones. "Last year's event reminded me what I love most about Christmas: seeing people coming together, celebrating and experiencing special moments, whilst also thinking about the year that's passed," Kate shared, wearing a beautiful sparkly dress, standing in front of a Christmas tree.
Hundreds of "inspiring individuals" were invited to Westminster Abbey, according to Princess Kate. The memorial event also honored individuals who have passed away. Kate added, "Those who showcase the power of connectedness and community values, allowing us to continue Her Majesty's tradition of recognizing and thanking those who have gone above and beyond to support others." She shared, "Whilst Christmas will feel very different this year, we can still remember the memories and traditions we shared. Take time to slow down and celebrate with family and friends all the wonderful things that make Christmas so special."
A multitude of tributes to the iconic queen was made at Kate's carol service, including Paddington Bear ornaments on the Christmas trees and a reading by Prince William that included a passage from his grandmother's 2012 Christmas speech. In honor of the Queen, the Princess of Wales also planted a wild cherry tree in Dean's Yard at Westminster Abbey before the event.
The choir from St. Mary's Ukrainian School in London was one of the groups Princess Kate invited, and they performed at the concert. On one of her formal engagements earlier in the year, she had seen them. Her administration at Kensington Palace made the pitch letter the princess wrote to invite people to participate in public in conjunction with her show. The Princess added, "Music has always been important to me, especially at this time of year, and its power to connect us with one another shouldn't be underestimated. The children's choir at St. Mary's is a wonderful example of how it is possible to find pockets of happiness, meaning, and comfort during difficult times."
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Richard Pohle