Kate Middleton plays piano at Christmas carol concert
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been more visible than ever during this holiday period, with Kate’s televised Christmas Carol concert at Westminster Abbey. The event, which was attended by those who had spent time with them during recent engagements, featured singer Ellie Goulding and one very special royal surprise. The Duchess dazzled watchers with her impressive piano performance of Tom Walker’s son For Those Who Can’t Be Here in tribute to those who died this year.
William and Kate usually spend New Year’s Eve with the Middleton family in West Berkshire, having spent Christmas with the royals.
However, it is possible that the ongoing coronavirus pandemic may affect their plans.
The Cambridges’ decision to spend their first New Year’s Eve as a married couple with Kate’s family raised eyebrows as they appeared to overlook the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall.
The Cambridges were at first expected to celebrate with Charles and Camilla in Scotland, but instead celebrated with Carole and Michael.
READ MORE: Kate Middleton was ‘in tears’ as Prince William cancelled NYE plans
Kate and William overlooked Charles and Camilla at New Year’s
Carole and Michael Middleton with their daughter Pippa Matthews at Kate’s carol concert
They celebrated in a tent traditionally used by Lapland-based reindeer herders, which was erected in the garden of Middleton’s house.
Kate’s sister Pippa, who was maid of honour at the couple’s royal wedding earlier that year, hired a tee-pee style tent from an upmarket events firm for the party.
The party tent, or Kata, is said to have cost around £3,000 to hire.
One local villager described how the royals were laughing and joking as they “looked full of the joys of the season”.
William and Kate’s Christmas card picture with children
A 2012 report in the Mail on Sunday described how Kate was given an opportunity to let her hair down after her first Christmas with the Royal Family at Sandringham, an event that is said to have “terrified” the Duchess.
Channel 5 documentary “Sandringham: The Queen at Christmas”, which was aired over the festive period four years ago, examined some of the demands of a royal Christmas.
Royal biographer Ingrid Seward said: “It’s very difficult for an outsider ‒ Kate was terrified!
“It’s not that it’s not friendly and sweet, it’s just that there are so many things that can go wrong.”
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The Queen is facing her first New Year without Prince Philip
Royals are expected to make a large number of outfit changes, which Kate admitted she was “nervous about at the time”.
The Christmas Eve party is a black-tie event, but the royals must also pack for smart church wear for Christmas Day and outdoorsy clothes for the Boxing Day shoot.
Royal author Claudia Joseph said: “Kate, when she first married William, confided how nervous she was, having to constantly change for every occasion.”
Sarah Ferguson has also been known to complain about the numerous wardrobe changes over the three-day festivities at Sandringham.
Camilla convinces Prince Charles to read ‘A Christmas Carol’
However, this year things were different as the nation is still struggling with rising Covid cases.
The Queen opted to stay at Windsor Castle and had a smaller celebration than normal.
She is now preparing for her first New Year’s Eve without her beloved husband Prince Philip.
The Prime Minister, Boris Jonson is expected to reveal whether new restrictions will be brought in in England early in the New Year, having previously explained that there would be no change before January 1.
New Year is now a joyous time for Kate and William, which they can share with their three children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis ‒but it has not always been.
Back in 2006, William cancelled the couple’s New Year plans at the last minute, telling her during a “tearful” phone conversation on Boxing Day.
Royal expert Katie Nicholl wrote in her 2011 book “The Making of a Royal Romance”: “For William, it was no big deal, but for Kate the cancellation was a sign of something more sinister to come.”
Indeed, 2007 was the year William and Kate temporarily broke up, before getting back together and becoming stronger than ever.