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Prince Charles and Camilla join Tom Hardy, Judi Dench and more stars for Christmas performance

The Prince of Wales has been patron of the Actors' Benevolent Fund for 21 years

camilla christmas poem
Emily Nash
Emily Nash - London
Royal EditorLondon
23 December 2020
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The Prince of Wales has lined up an all-star cast for a very special Christmas performance – and he and the Duchess of Cornwall also took part.

Prince Charles called on some of Britain's best-known actors to join him in a recital of Twas the Night Before Christmas in aid of the Actors' Benevolent Fund, of which he has been patron since 2001.

READ: Prince Charles reveals incredible Christmas tree at Highgrove House during festive message

WATCH: Charles and Camilla are joined by a host of stars

Dame Judi Dench and Daniel Craig both recorded segments for the film, while Tom Hardy, Dame Maggie Smith, Joanna Lumley, Sex Education star Ncuti Gatwa and Dame Penelope Keith, President of the ABF, were all filmed separately at Clarence House in recent weeks.

Each takes turns to perform lines from the classic festive poem, with scenes filmed in the Garden Room and alongside a roaring fire in the Morning Room at Charles and Camilla's official London residence.

Joanna Lumley and Tom Hardy are seen in front of the glittering Christmas tree in the hallway, Dame Judi is at home in front of her own tree, while Bond star Daniel Craig appears against a seasonally snowy background. 

MORE: 10 photos of the royals looking thrilled at Christmas to put a smile on your face

MORE: 18 fabulous photos of the Queen and her family enjoying themselves at royal parties

charles xmas poem© Clarence House

Charles has been patron of the charity since 2001

HELLO! understands the Prince came up with the idea of bringing them together last month as a way of shining a light on the charity, which supports actors who are unable to work through illness, injury or old age or who are suffering financial hardship. 

He and the Duchess, who are spending Christmas at Highgrove, have been vocal supporters of the arts throughout the pandemic, visiting live performance venues including the 100 Club and the Soho Theatre last month.

Charles also appeared in two broadcasts on Classic FM in May, saying of the effect of the pandemic on performers: "We have to find a way to make sure these marvellous people and organisations can survive through it all."

tom hardy christmas poem© Clarence House

Tom Hardy in front of the tree at Clarence House

The Actors' Benevolent Fund has received more applications for help in 2020 than ever before, with the majority in the 18-49 age group.

An Emergency Grant Fund was set up in April to help professional actors and stage managers experiencing money troubles because of the coronavirus pandemic, offering support with rent arrears, urgent bill payments and everyday essentials.

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