UK royals to unite at carol concert on day of Prince Harry and Meghan series finale

Catherine, Princess of Wales, hosting Christmas concert at Westminster Abbey in memory of Queen Elizabeth

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Britain's royal family will show a united front by attending a Christmas carol concert on the day the explosive final episodes of Prince Harry and Meghan's series are screened on Netflix.

King Charles and the Queen Consort, Prince and Princess of Wales and other family members will appear in public at the Together At Christmas celebration at Westminster Abbey on December 15.

The royals will be bracing themselves for media bombshells when the first three episodes of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's six-part docuseries come out on Thursday.

The last three will coincide with a Christmas service hosted next week by Catherine, Princess of Wales.

In a trailer released on Monday, Prince Harry spoke of a “dirty game” involving “leaking”, “planting of stories” and “a hierarchy of the family”.

But the teaser appeared to use footage of the press filming events unrelated to the couple to depict them being hounded by paparazzi.

It comes after the royal family were dragged back into a racism scandal after a charity boss complained about insensitive comments by a Buckingham Palace aide.

The Princess of Wales's carol concert, supported by The Royal Foundation, is dedicated to the queen, who died three months ago, but comes at a time of continuing turmoil for the Windsors.

Kensington Palace 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”.

The royal family will attend a Christmas concert organised by the Princess of Wales. PA

Those performing include singers Craig David, Alexis Ffrench and actress Samantha Barks. Alfie Boe and former Spice Girl Melanie C will sing a duet.

“Poignant readings” will be delivered by speakers including heir to the throne Prince William, Dame Kristin Scott Thomas, Hugh Bonneville and television presenter Kadeena Cox, the palace said.

The service will be broadcast on Britain's ITV1 on Christmas Eve as part of a Royal Carols: Together At Christmas programme, narrated by Catherine Zeta Jones and featuring an introduction by Catherine and tributes to Queen Elizabeth II.

In a trailer for Harry & Meghan, the duke discusses the “pain and suffering of women marrying into this institution”, with his words accompanied by footage of both his mother Diana, Princess of Wales, and Kate Middleton, as she was known before she married Prince William, being surrounded by photographers.

Prince Harry tells how he was “terrified, saying: “I didn’t want history to repeat itself” and “no one knows the full truth. We know the full truth”.

Netflix has billed it as a “global event”. The streaming giant has promised an “unprecedented and in-depth documentary series” where Prince Harry and Meghan “share the other side of their high-profile love story”.

It is set against a backdrop of Prince Harry’s long-reported rift with brother Prince William and troubled relationship with King Charles. There is also Meghan’s accusations that Catherine made her cry in a disagreement over a flower girl dress and claims from both that an unnamed royal made a racist remark about their unborn son and that the institution failed to help a suicidal Meghan. The series is expected to further damage the Sussexes’ relationship with the king and his family.

Prince 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 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”.

Harry & Meghan documentary — in pictures

Updated: December 06, 2022, 1:48 PM
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