Senior members of the royal family will come together for the Princess of Wales’s carol concert on the day that Netflix airs the final episode of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s forthcoming docuseries, Harry and Meghan.
King Charles III, Queen Camilla, the Prince of Wales, Kate Middleton, and other family members are expected to put on a united front to support her Together At Christmas celebration at Westminster Abbey on 15 December.
Kensington Palace said in a statement that the event will be dedicated to the late Queen Elizabeth II, at a time of continued turmoil for the royals.
The statement said: “This year’s carol service is dedicated to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the values Her Majesty demonstrated throughout her life, including duty, empathy, faith, service, kindness, compassion and support for others.
“These principles are shared and personified by the inspirational guests who have been invited to the Abbey in recognition of their tireless work to help and care for those around them.”
It will also “recognise the selfless efforts of individuals, families and communities across the UK, and celebrate and showcase the joy that human connection and togetherness can bring”.
But the events comes as the royals brace for further bombshells expected in Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s tell-all docuseries, Harry and Meghan, which is set to premiere on Thursday (8 December).
In the full trailer for the series, which was released on Monday (5 December), Prince Harry vowed to tell “the full truth” of what happened between him and Meghan and the royal family.
He spoke of a “dirty game” where there is “leaking” and “planting of stories” and a “hierarchy of the family”.
Kate’s carol concert is supported by The Royal Foundation. Those performing include Craig David, Alexis Ffrench and Samantha Barks, as well as Alfie Boe and former Spice Girl Melanie C, who will sing a duet.
“Poignant readings” will be delivered by speakers including heir to the throne William, Dame Kristin Scott Thomas, Hugh Bonneville and Kadeena Cox, the Palace said.
The service will be broadcast on ITV1 on Christmas Eve as part of a Royal Carols: Together At Christmas programme, narrated by Catherine Zeta Jones and featuring an introduction by Kate and tributes to Queen Elizabeth II.
Several royal experts have said that the presence of most of the royal family at Kate’s event symbolises “family unity”.
Rebecca English, royal editor for the Daily Mail, tweeted it will be a “real show of family unity”, while Omid Scobie, co-author of Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan, said it showed the family was “carrying on” amid the turmoil.
Billed as a Netflix global event, the streaming giant has promised an “unprecedented and in-depth documentary series” where Harry and Meghan “share the other side of their high-profile love story”.
Harry and Meghan signed lucrative deals – thought to be worth well over £100 million – with Netflix and Spotify after quitting the monarchy and moving to the US in 2020.
Directed by two-time Academy Award-nominated and Emmy-winning director Liz Garbus, the series will explore “the clandestine days of their early courtship and the challenges that led to them feeling forced to step back from their full-time roles in the institution”.
Additional reporting by PA