Kate Middleton is remembering Queen Elizabeth II during the royal family's first holiday season without the late monarch. The Princess of Wales kicks off the televised broadcast of her carol service with a heartwarming tribute to the late queen, who died in September at the age of 96.
"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 says as she stands in front of a Christmas tree, sporting a festive sparkly outfit. "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."
The princess continues that they invited hundreds of "inspiring individuals" to Westminster Abbey to celebrate the carol service with the royal family. These guests are "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," Kate explains. "Her Majesty leaves with us an incredible legacy and one that has deeply inspired many of us."
The service also makes sure to honor those who have passed away. "Whilst Christmas will feel very different this year, we can still remember the memories and traditions we shared," Kate notes. "Take time to slow down and celebrate with family and friends all the wonderful things that make Christmas so special."
The Princess of Wales originally made the comments ahead of the carol service, which was originally held Dec. 15 at Westminster Abbey and will be aired during the Together at Christmas broadcast, narrated by Catherine Zeta-Jones, on ITV1 and BritBox on Dec. 24. This is the second year that Kate has hosted this celebration as a gesture of gratitude towards people who have given their all in service of their country over the previous year.
"So thrilled to be back at Westminster Abbey for our second #TogetherAtChristmas carol service," the caption reads under the video of Kate on her and husband Prince William's Instagram account. "This year's service is dedicated to Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and to all those who are sadly no longer with us."