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Kate Middleton talks 'special' place with Prince William as she decorates Westminster Abbey for Christmas concert

Royal fans can watch the special service on Christmas Eve

The Duchess of Cambridge has revealed her excitement over hosting her Christmas carol concert at Westminster Abbey, a place she said is "really special to William and me," in a new specially recorded message.

The church played host to Prince William and Kate's royal wedding in April 2011, with the couple celebrating their tenth wedding anniversary earlier this year.

The Duchess recorded the message to introduce Royal Carols: Together at Christmas, the broadcast of her community carol service which will air on Christmas Eve on ITV. 

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WATCH: Kate Middleton praises 'inspirational' heroes in Christmas carol concert

It was recorded the day before the service as Kate visited the Abbey to help with preparations. In new photos released by Kensington Palace, the Duchess, wearing a festive Miu Miu cardigan, can be seen decorating Christmas trees donated by the Queen from Windsor Great Park and arranging wreaths that were donated by the Royal Horticultural Society.

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Kate decorates the tree with Abbey Marshal, Leticia Cachoeira Edwards

In her message, Kate thanked those who have gone above and beyond to support their communities during the pandemic.

"We wanted to say a huge thank you to all those amazing people out there who have supported their communities," she said. "We also wanted to recognise those whose struggles perhaps have been less visible, too."

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Kate wore a festive Miu Miu cardigan for her visit

Recognising the difficulties over the past 20 months, the Duchess said: "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."

She added: "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."

Spearheaded by the Duchess and supported by The Royal Foundation, the Together At Christmas carol service was attended by unsung heroes from across the UK in recognition of their inspirational efforts to protect and care for those around them.

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The Christmas trees were donated by the Queen from Windsor

Nominations were drawn from local Lieutenancies, community networks, charitable organisations and patronages of the Queen, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Speaking about those invited to the concert, Kate said: "In the congregation tonight we've got many inspirational individuals. 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, the acts of kindness, love, empathy, and compassion to help people come through these difficult times. 

"I hope everyone can enjoy this evening with their family and friends. And I wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year."

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William and Kate attending the concert earlier this month

The service includes musical performances by the Westminster Abbey Choir, Leona Lewis, Ellie Goulding and a special performance by Tom Walker of his Christmas single For Those Who Can't Be Here.

In a clip shared by ITV earlier this week, William and Kate were spotted exchanging a sweet glance at one another during Ellie Goulding's performance of Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas. No doubt it brought back special memories for the couple, as Ellie sang at their wedding.

The concert also incorporates readings delivered by the Duke of Cambridge, British Paralympian and junior doctor Kim Daybell, actor Tom Felton, and presenter Kate Garraway, in addition to a performance of To The Day, a poignant composition written for the service by poet and writer Lemn Sissay.

Royal Carols: Together At Christmas will air on Christmas Eve at 7:30pm on ITV and ITV Hub

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