Kate Middleton meets community heroes in ‘incredible’ scenes | Royal | News

December 23, 2023
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The Princess of Wales has been praised as “the most incredible person” for taking time out from tonight’s (Sun) showstopping Christmas carol service to personally thank her specially invited community heroes.

Kate Middleton met with retired mental health nurse Brenda Ford, children’s hospice music therapist Ray Travasso and Manchester football coach Russell Gray, along with some of the children they help.

It took place before they attended the service at Westminster Abbey alongside Royals and celebrities.

Yesterday Ray, 50, praised the princess’s “incredibly kind” interactions with them and brothers George, 12, and Henry, 10, whom he supports, at the service which was filmed and airs on ITV tonight.

The music therapist, who has supported Henry’s family since he was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy at 18 months old, told the Sunday Express: “It was amazing, she’s the most incredible person.

“She was really kind and she spend some time with us before the service, she actually came out and had a little chat with us which was really really lovely.

“The first thing she does when she greets people is go straight to the children – she talks to them, knows a lot about them and she takes an interest in them.”

“She was really lovely with me and remembered my name and was really interested in music and the therapeutic benefits of music.

“And as they walked past at the end of the service – we were sat near the crib section – Louis gave a little wave to George and Henry.”

Ray revealed he was expecting to be interviewed when he got the “real shock” of meeting the Princess at a London church hall last month.

The event turned out to be a surprise Christmas Tea Party with cake, which was also attended by Brenda Ford and Russell Gray, celebrated the incredible contribution they are making in shaping future generations.

Ray, from the East Anglia Children’s Hospice (EACH), said he and his wife Jenny received the special invite from Princess Kate to the service later.

“She also invited us to light a candle which was really kind,” he added.

“I work at a children’s hospice: lighting a candle is a really really meaningful thing, to remember loved ones who had died. We felt like very special guests.”

“I’m a music therapist so my job is always putting on carol services so to actually be invited to go to one and I don’t have to play was lovely but to do it at Westminster with that invite from the Princess was extra special.”

“She was interested in the therapeutic benefits of music and was really interested in early years, how much can be helpful in early years. She’s incredibly kind and generous and really really engaging, she just spends time on you.”

The Royal Family united in full festive force at the Princess of Wales’s third annual Christmas carol service, with this year’s theme focuses on the vital importance of early childhood as part of the Shaping Us campaign.

Among the group of celebrities waiting to greet the Waleses in the Abbey’s Lady Chapel were singers Beverley Knight and Adam Lambert, musician Jacob Collier and actor Jim Broadbent.

It saw the princess surprise guests with a rendition of Last Christmas played on John Lennon’s piano.

A film of the service will feature the stories of Ray, as well Brenda, of Chailey, East Sussex, who volunteers in a local schools helping children develop new skills through their intergenerational programme and inspirational football coach Russell.

Ray said: “If anyone’s not feeling Christmassy yet, watch this programme and it will put you in the Christmas spirit and it’ll be just the right thing to do.”

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



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