Kate Middleton Emphasizes ‘Family’ in Rare Speech After Sussex Bombshells


Britain’s Princess of Wales has stressed the importance of family and showing “empathy and compassion” for others in a rare speech following a month of bombshells from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in their new Netflix docuseries.

Kate Middleton made the remarks in tribute to Queen Elizabeth II as part of an introductory video message that will be played before the broadcast of her charity carol concert on Christmas Eve.

Kate hosted the “Together at Christmas” carol service at Westminster Abbey on December 15, the day that Harry and Meghan’s docuseries aired its final episodes. In them, the Sussexes make a number of allegations against the other royals, including an account of Prince William screaming and shouting at his brother during a January 2020 meeting, which left him terrified.

The Princess of Wales is pictured delivering a message that will be played before the broadcast of the “Together at Christmas” carol service on Christmas Eve. In the inset, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are seen in an image from their recent Netflix docuseries. Kate Middleton’s message emphasizes the importance of “family” and “empathy” toward others.
Kensington Palace/Netflix

2022 marks the second year that Kate has spearheaded a carol service at the abbey. She made headlines in 2021 when she demonstrated her piano-playing ability while accompanying singer Tom Walker in a musical performance dedicated to loved ones lost during the COVID pandemic.

In a transcript of the rare video message, released ahead of Saturday’s broadcast, Kate said last year’s concert reminded her of what she loves most about Christmas. She speaks of “seeing people coming together, celebrating and experiencing special moments, whilst also thinking about the year that’s passed.”

This year’s service was dedicated in part to the late Queen Elizabeth, whose values formed the guiding principles for the event. The princess used her grandmother-in-law’s example to emphasize the importance of family at this time of year—despite whatever fractures the public may be observing within the royal family.

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

One of the criticisms Harry makes in the Netflix documentary is that there was a lack of empathy and understanding from his family regarding the media abuse Meghan experienced during their time as working royals.

“What people need to understand is that as far as a lot of my family were concerned, everything that she was being put through they had been put through as well,” the prince said of Meghan’s press treatment upon entering the royal family.

“So it was almost like a rite of passage, and some of the members of the family [were] like, ‘Right, but my wife had to go through that, so why should your girlfriend be treated any differently? Why should you get special treatment? Why should she get protected?'”

Harry also said that since moving to the U.S., he has given up hope of receiving an apology from his family for the transgressions that led the Sussexes to step away from the monarchy.

“I’ve had to make peace with the fact that we’re probably not gonna get genuine accountability or a genuine apology,” he said. “You know, my wife and I, we’re moving on. We’re focused on what’s coming next.”

Buckingham Palace has had a “no comment” strategy in regard to the docuseries and the allegations in it. Meanwhile, King Charles and the royal family are preparing to spend their first Christmas without the queen at the Sandringham country retreat.

Wales Family Attend Royal Carols
Prince William, Princess Charlotte, Prince George and Kate Middleton attend the “Together at Christmas” carol service at Westminster Abbey on December 15. The service will be broadcast on British TV on Christmas Eve.
Samir Hussein/WireImage

In her video message, Kate remarks on the country facing this Christmas without the queen, who each year of her reign made a Christmas speech.

“Whilst Christmas will feel very different this year,” she said, “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.”

Charles will make his first Christmas speech as king, which will be broadcast on December 25.

The Princess of Wales’ Speech in Full:

Royal Carols: Together at Christmas, December 24, 7 p.m. GMT, on ITV

“I am so thrilled to be back at Westminster Abbey for our second carol service. Last year’s event reminded me what I love most about Christmas, seeing people coming together, celebrating and experiencing special moments, whilst also thinking about the year that’s passed.

This Christmas will be our first without Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth.

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 recognizing 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. This year’s carol service is dedicated to her and to all those who are sadly no longer with us.

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.

I do hope you enjoy this evening, and I wish you all a very Merry Christmas.”

James Crawford-Smith is Newsweek‘s royal reporter based in London. You can find him on Twitter at @jrcrawfordsmith and read his stories on Newsweek’s The Royals Facebook page.

Do you have a question about King Charles III, William and Kate, Meghan and Harry or their family that you would like our experienced royal correspondents to answer? Email royals@newsweek.com. We’d love to hear from you.





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