Prince and Princess of Wales joined by their children for Together At Christmas service

The Prince and Princess of Wales, their children and the Dean of Westminster Abbey at the Together At Christmas service.
Credit: PA

The Prince and Princess of Wales' children joined their parents at a carol service celebrating those supporting youngsters and families.

Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis made a rare public appearance for the annual Westminster Abbey event hosted by Kate, which has quickly become a firm fixture in the festive royal calendar.

At one point Louis was seen cheekily blowing out a candle which his sister was holding.

The young prince famously entertained the nation with his antics at the late Queen's Platinum Jubilee - pulling funny faces and fidgeting during some of the pomp and pageantry.

Prince Louis blowing out a candle being held by his sister, Princess Charlotte, during the Royal Carols. Credit: PA

For 2023 the service reflected the princess' early years Shaping Us campaign launched in January, which aims to highlight and promote the significance of the formative years of a child’s life.

The service was billed as a moment to thank all those who work to support babies, young children and families in communities across the UK and among the 1,500 guests were midwives and nursery teachers.

William and Kate's children, George, 10, Charlotte, eight, and Louis, aged five, were introduced to the Dean of Westminster, Dr David Hoyle, outside the Abbey's great west door when their first arrived with their father William.

Kate had travelled ahead of her family to meet and thank the celebrities taking part and she stopped to chat to a number of the young people invited to the event.

As they walked into the Abbey the royal children paused for a moment to post Christmas cards, in a special postbox, containing messages for children who might be struggling this Christmas, something open to all youngsters attending.

Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis are rarely seen in public together. Credit: PA

Arriving guests were treated to carols and Christmas songs performed by the Action for Children Young Carers Aloud choir, made up of 12 young carers including one aged just six.

Kate thanked the celebrities for giving up their time when she met them ahead of the concert.

The service began with the popular carol, Once In Royal David's City, and the congregation also heard a duet by Beverley Knight and Adam Lambert who performed The Christmas Song, made famous by Nat King Cole.

William read the passage from the Gospel according to Luke that describes how Joseph and Mary travelled to Bethlehem to be registered and the birth of Jesus.

The Abbey echoed with the voices of its choir and the congregation singing a selection of carols including Silent Night, Holy Night and Joy To The World, as well as Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.

Among the highlights of the service was songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jacob Collier playing Wham!’s hit Last Christmas on John Lennon’s piano, which was owned by Wham! singer and later solo star George Michael and loaned by his estate.

The carol service was held 43 years to the day Lennon was shot dead, aged 40, outside his New York apartment on December 8 1980.

Broadcaster Roman Kemp, the son of Spandau Ballet bassist Martin Kemp and former Wham! backing singer Shirlie Kemp, introduced Collier and talked about the role George Michael, who was his godfather, played in his life.

Royal Carols: Together at Christmas is on Christmas Eve at 7.45pm on ITV1 and ITVX.

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