Princess of Wales’ Christmas carol service: what music will there be, and who is performing?

21 December 2022, 17:15 | Updated: 22 December 2022, 08:55

By Sophia Alexandra Hall

The Princess of Wales presents a royal carol service from Westminster Abbey, set to be broadcast on Christmas Eve. But who will be performing, and what will the music be?

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Last year, Catherine, Princess of Wales made her public piano performance debut as she played, unannounced, during a carol service at Westminster Abbey.

One year later, Catherine will present a one-hour televised special from the 13th-century royal church in a programme titled, ‘Royal Carols: Together at Christmas’.

The show was recorded earlier this month on 15 December, with members of the royal family in attendance, and will be broadcast on Christmas Eve on ITV1.

Featuring music performed by the world-renowned Abbey choir and guest soloists, it has also been suggested that the broadcasted concert may include a special surprise performance by the Princess herself.

As 2022 marked the passing of Her Majesty The Queen, the programme will also be in dedication to the late Monarch

A performance of ‘Sing’ closed the 101st Royal Variety Show; introduced by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Gareth Malone, and Gary Barlow, and sung by the London Youth Choirs – watch below.

Read more: Duchess of Cambridge gives first public piano performance in Christmas Eve broadcast

Who is performing in Royal Carols: Together at Christmas?

The Choir of Westminster Abbey will sing a selection of Christmas carols, including the rousing and ever popular, ‘O Come, All Ye Faithful’.

While carols will be the main repertoire of the concert, a statement from the Royal Family has detailed that the service combines ‘traditional and modern elements to encompass people of all faiths and none’.

The hour-long special will be narrated by the award-winning Welsh actress and singer, Catherine Zeta Jones.

Joining the world-renowned Abbey choir are a host of guest soloists, including pianist Alexis Ffrench, musical theatre star Samantha Barks, and singer-songwriter Craig David. There will also be a special duet performance from operatic tenor Alfie Boe and former Spice Girl, Melanie C. The Princess of Wales is also rumoured to be giving a surprise performance.

There will be poignant readings from William, Prince of Wales, Dame Kristin Scott Thomas, Hugh Bonneville and parasport athlete, Kadeena Cox.

Read more: Paddington star Hugh Bonneville says fictional bear ‘was my first friend’ in heartwarming reveal

What is the theme of Royal Carols: Together at Christmas?

Spearheaded by the Princess of Wales, the royal carol service is supported by The Royal Foundation. Led by The Prince and Princess of Wales, the foundation helps “mobilise leaders, businesses and people so that together we can address society’s greatest challenges”.

During the Westminster Abbey service, the selfless efforts of individuals, families and communities across the UK were recognised, and the performances celebrated the joy that ‘togetherness’ can bring.

The congregation included members of The Royal Family, but also unsung heroes from local communities, and those who may be more vulnerable or isolated during this season.

Guests who attended the 15 December service in person, were treated to carols prior to the performance sung by the Genesis Sixteen Choir, which is part of a young artists’ scheme for 18 to 23-year-olds. The scheme aims to nurture the next generation of talented ensemble singers.

When will Royal Carols: Together at Christmas be broadcast?

Royal Carols: Together at Christmas will be broadcast at 7pm (GMT) Saturday 24 December on ITV1.