Kate shines in Mrs Claus coat as she hosts a carol service for Covid heroes

Kate Garraway on meeting Kate Middleton and Prince William

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The Duchess of Cambridge was joined at Westminster Abbey by ­husband William, Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall, Princess Eugenie and Sophie Wessex and Princess Beatrice and husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi. The hour-long televised service, which will be broadcast on ITV on Christmas Eve after the royals fell out with the BBC over a documentary, aims to unite the country under the “Together At Christmas” banner.

As well as traditional carols sung by the Abbey choir, there were Bible readings from Prince William, British Paralympian and junior doctor Kim Daybell, and television presenter Kate Garraway, whose husband Derek Draper is one of the worst- affected Covid patients to survive.

Lighter moments were provided by pop stars Leona Lewis and Ellie Goulding. Poet Lemn Sissay read ­a pandemic-themed composition called To The Day. While comic Jason Manford got a seat in the Abbey for driving over-80s to medical appointments. And England football hero Jordan Henderson took his place for starting the “Players Together” initiative, where players donated wages to help the NHS.

Kate, 39, dazzled in a coat by Catherine Walker and sapphire and diamond earrings loaned from the Queen as she gathered 1,200 people who have helped hold Britain together during the crisis.

She was welcomed by Mila Sneddon, who stole the Duchess’s heart after bravely coping with ­leukaemia during the crisis. Mila, six, gave Kate a twirl of her green dress before taking her seat behind the royals and later reading a prayer.

Kate wrote a foreword in the order of service, saying: “Through our ­separation from others, we have been reminded just how powerful human connection is to us all.

“And how loving and feeling a sense of belonging to one another can provide comfort in tough times.”

Yesterday Camilla turned on the Christmas lights at the Royal Trinity Hospice in Clapham, south London, where she is a patron. She also launched its Christmas appeal, ­
telling staff: “We owe you such ­gratitude for constantly going above and beyond.

  • Together At Christmas, December 24, ITV, 7.30pm

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