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Kate: Thank you to those amazing people out there who have supported their communities

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In a recorded introduction to the royal carol service from Westminster Abbey to be screened on ITV tomorrow, Kate paid tribute to key workers and Britain’s unsung Covid heroes, whose kindness is celebrated in the programme.

The future Queen – wearing a £1,350 festive Miu Miu cardigan, explained her efforts to unite the country in Royal Carols: Together At Christmas.

She recorded the introduction when she went to the Abbey on December 7, the day before the service, to help decorate Christmas trees donated by the Queen from Windsor Great Park and arrange wreaths from the Royal Horticultural Society.

Kate, 39, who wore a £3,000 red Catherine Walker coat for the service, said: “We wanted to say a huge thank you to all those amazing people out there who have supported their communities. We also wanted to recognise those whose struggles perhaps have been less visible too.

“We’ve been through such a bleak time. 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 realised how much we need each other and how acts of kindness and love can really bring us comfort and relief in times of distress.”

The Duchess invited 1,200 pandemic heroes to the service, which featured music from the Westminster Abbey choir and pop stars Leona Lewis, Ellie Goulding and Tom Walker, who performed his Christmas single For Those Who Can’t Be Here.

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Guests included people Kate has met during the Covid crisis, including young carers, faith leaders and service personnel involved in evacuating British nationals and Afghans who helped the allies from the war-torn country after the Taliban takeover earlier this year.

She said: “We owe them a huge debt of gratitude for all they’ve done in bringing people together and supporting their communities.

“Tonight we’re going to hear so many wonderful carols. Music was so important to me during the pandemic as I think it was to so many people too. But above all it’s about celebrating the goodwill, acts of kindness, love, empathy, and compassion to help people come through these difficult times.”

She was joined by Prince William, Sophie Wessex, Zara and Mike Tindall, Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank, and Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi. Kate’s mother Carole, dad Michael and sister Pippa were also there.

There were readings from William, British Paralympian and junior doctor Kim Daybell, actor Tom Felton and Good Morning Britain presenter Kate Garraway.

Royal Carols: Together At Christmas, ITV and ITV Hub, tomorrow at 7.30pm.

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