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Susie Beever & Katie Collings

Princess of Wales pays touching tribute as Queen with image on piano for Christmas carol service

The Princess of Wales paid homage to the late Queen in a touching carol service which marks King Charles' first Christmas on the throne.

A stunning image of the late Elizabeth II was projected on the side of the grand piano during the Together At Christmas service at Westminster Abbey, which featured the likes of Craig David, Alfie Boe and Sporty Spice Mel C.

Kate meanwhile also paid tribute to the Queen, in a speech which thanked her for her "incredible legacy" and efforts tin "bringing us together".

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Kate, who spearheaded the service with support from The Royal Foundation, said she was “thrilled” to return to the abbey for a second year.

Introducing the service, Princess Kate said: "This Christmas will be our first without Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth.

Catherine, Princess of Wales is seen during the 'Together at Christmas' Carol Service at Westminster Abbey (Getty Images)

"Her Majesty held Christmas close to her heart, as a time that brought people together and reminded us of the importance of faith, friendship and family, and to show empathy and compassion.

"This year, we've invited hundreds of inspiring individuals to the service.

“Those who showcase the power of connectedness and community values, allowing us to continue Her Majesty’s tradition of recognising and thanking those who have gone above and beyond to support others.

“Her Majesty leaves with us an incredible legacy and one that has deeply inspired many of us.”

Screened on ITV and voiced over by Catherine Zeta-Jones, the service was filled with gestures in apparent and touching nods to the late royal, including a nearby Christmas tree decorated with miniature Paddington Bears as a hark back to her sketch with the cartoon character for her Platinum Jubilee in June.

The Duke and Duchess were meanwhile joined by their children, George and Charlotte, the King and Queen Consort Camilla, as well as Zara and Mike Tindall, along with 1,800 guests.

The young Prince and Princess sang in full voice at their mother during the carol service.

The future king and his younger sister held candles as they joined the congregation.

Kate was seen at one point with a comforting arm around Charlotte’s shoulder, while the Prince of Wales placed a guiding hand on his son George’s back.

This Christmas marks the first since the Queen's passing, with millions expected to tune in at 3pm on Sunday for Charles' first speech as King.

In her tribute, Kate added: "So, whilst Christmas will feel very different this year, we can still remember the memories and traditions we shared.

"Take time to slow down and celebrate with family and friends all the wonderful things that make Christmas so special."

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