Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge , stunned the audience at a community carol service with a moving surprise piano performance on Christmas Eve. Alongside musician Tom Walker and surrounded by candles, she showed off her impressive piano skills for the first time for the television special, “Royal Carols: Together At Christmas.”
Ahead of the concert at The Chapter House inside Westminster Abbey, the pair secretly filmed at a recording studio, according to BBC News . The entire event, which also featured Leona Lewis, Ellie Goulding and “Harry Potter” star Tom Felton, was broadcast in Britain on ITV.
The attendees of “Royal Carols: Together At Christmas” were individuals and organizations who inspired and supported their communities throughout the coronavirus pandemic, ITV said. The service aimed to uplift the nation, and reflect upon the difficulty of the pandemic, “particularly for those who might be more vulnerable, isolated or have limited access to support.”
“This Christmas will be different to what so many of us had planned,” Prince William and Kate tweeted on Friday. “From those who are alone or having to isolate away from loved ones, to the incredible people supporting our NHS and caring for those most in need — we are thinking of you.”
Kate and Walker’s poignant performance of his song, “For Those Who Can’t Be Here,” can be watched in full on the duke and duchess’s YouTube channel.
Walker, a British singer-songwriter, told ITV that he was approached by the duchess after they met at a charity event.
“We got together, we rehearsed the song like nine times and by the end of it she’d absolutely nailed it, and then she went away for a couple of days and practiced it, and then we finally got to do the recording of it,” he said. “And I was really impressed because it’s one thing playing along with me in a studio, just the two of us, but then to jump straight into playing with a live string quartet and a pianist and two backing singers.”
“I think we were both really nervous that it wasn’t going to go quite to plan and one of us would let down the other person or whatever, but she was absolutely fabulous. She smashed it,” he added.
The Christmas program “brought together so many inspirational individuals for a night of wonderful carols and music,” the duke and duchess’s @KensingtonRoyal account tweeted after the special. “But above all, it was about celebrating the goodwill, acts of kindness, love, empathy, and compassion which have helped people come through these difficult times.”
Several other members of the royal family also attended the service, including Prince William, Zara and Mike Tindall, Sophie Wessex, and Princess Beatrice and her husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi. Queen Elizabeth II was not in attendance, but plans to address the nation on Christmas Day.
Sophie Lewis is a social media producer and trending writer for CBS News, focusing on space and climate change.