British royals, and some actors, provide up festive cheer on Christmas Eve


LONDON — With thousands and thousands of Britons making ready to rejoice Christmas beneath strict coronavirus lockdown restrictions, Britain’s royal household doled out some festive cheer on Christmas Eve.

Prince Charles, 72, and his spouse Camilla had been joined by an ensemble of celebrities, together with actors Tom Hardy, Judi Dench and Maggie Smith, to carry out “A Go to from St Nicholas,” a Christmas poem extra extensively referred to as “‘Twas the Night time Earlier than Christmas.”

Charles recites the primary strains of the basic 1823 work, which depicts Saint Nicholas, or Santa Claus, and his sled pulled by eight reindeer arriving at a household house.

The heir-to-the-throne additionally delivers the closing strains, “Merry Christmas to all, and to all a superb night time,” with a small flourish.

Charles, an newbie actor in his youth, is patron of the Actors’ Benevolent Fund, a century-old British charity supporting actors going through monetary hardship. The video is meant to lift funds in a 12 months when the humanities and artistic industries have been badly hit, with theaters and galleries closed and tv and film productions cancelled.

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Hundreds of thousands will tune into Queen Elizabeth’s annual speech on Christmas Day, a long-held seasonal custom when the monarch addresses the nation.

The royal household usually spends the festive interval in Sandringham in Norfolk, east England, with a Christmas Day church service. This 12 months, Buckingham Palace have mentioned the 94-year-old monarch and her husband, Philip, will rejoice Christmas at Windsor Citadel, amid the pandemic.

Charles’ son Prince William and his spouse Kate printed their vacation card final week, exhibiting a relaxed household picture with their three kids — George, 7, Charlotte, 5, and Louis, 2 — sitting with extensive grins on a bale of hay, at their nation residence in jap England.

Though now not working royals, Charles’ youthful son, Prince Harry and his spouse Meghan, who moved to the US earlier this 12 months, made a donation to an animal welfare charity in London, Mayhew. Meghan is patron of the small charity, which shared the couple’s vacation card.

The picture exhibits an inventive drawing primarily based on {a photograph} taken by Meghan’s mom at their California house earlier this month. The pair are seen taking part in with their younger son Archie and two canine within the backyard.

The small Christmas tree within the picture, together with the selfmade ornaments, had been chosen by Archie, a spokesperson for the household informed NBC Information, and the tree will likely be replanted after the vacations.

The lives of the royals garnered recent curiosity this 12 months, with many locked-down followers tuning into season 4 of the Netflix collection “The Crown.” For the primary time, the collection featured Princess Diana and brought on a stir as British politicians urged Netflix to clarify that the present is fiction.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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