COVID-19: Stars record Christmas poem with Prince Charles and Camilla to support struggling film industry

·2-min read

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall have joined a star-studded cast to record a festive treat and raise awareness of the difficulties facing the film and theatre industries.

Prince Charles and Camilla have recorded a special reading of the poem 'Twas The Night Before Christmas, with a few very famous friends invited to Clarence House to help.

Acting royalty Dame Judi Dench, Dame Maggie Smith, Daniel Craig, Ncuti Gatwa, Joanna Lumley, Tom Hardy and Dame Penelope Keith, the president of the Actors Benevolent Fund, each recorded sections in COVID-safe ways.

Some filmed their lines inside the couple's London home.

Charles, as patron of the fund, came up with the idea after hearing first-hand the difficulties those in the creative industries continue to face due to the restrictions caused by COVID-19.

The royal couple have carried out a number of different engagements in recent months in support of the arts.

Photos from the recordings show Tom Hardy laughing in the hallway at Clarence House, Joanna Lumley leaning on the wooden staircase, and Charles and Camilla recording their lines in front of the tree at their home.

The Actors Benevolent Fund says it has received more applications for help in 2020 than ever before because of the impact of coronavirus.

Before the pandemic, the largest group of beneficiaries that the fund supported were over retirement age, but in the last year the majority have been aged between 18 and 49.

In April, it launched an Emergency Grant Fund to help those struggling with things like rent arrears, bill payments and buying everyday essentials.

It is hoped that the recording of the festive poem, which will be released on Clarence House's social media channels at 10am on Christmas Eve, will raise much-needed funds.