Watch: William and Kate take children to the pantomime
Prince William and Kate have taken their three children on a special pre-Christmas theatre trip.
Princes George and Louis and Princess Charlotte were able to accompany their parents to the London Palladium earlier this week to see a special performance of Pantoland.
The royals shared details of the evening on Instagram, including a picture of the family of five walking the red carpet as they arrived.
William gave a short speech before the performance on Friday, and paid tribute to the late Dame Barbara Windsor.
Posting on Instagram, Kensington Palace said: “The Duke and Duchess and their family attended a special pantomime performance of The National Lottery’s Pantoland at The Palladium, which was held to thank key workers and their families for their phenomenal efforts this year.
“Before the performance, The Duke delivered a short speech to thank those across the country for the sacrifices they have made to keep the country operating and to support their communities throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
“During the interval, The Duke and Duchess also met a small number of key worker families to hear more about their experiences over the past year, before popping backstage to thank the cast and crew.”
Kate, 38, wore a long black dress with a ruffle collar and white detailing, by Alessandra Rich, while husband William, also 38, donned a festive red jumper with his suit.
Prince George, seven, wore a red and navy hooped jumper, with dark trousers and shoes, while his sister Charlotte, five, was in a checked dress.
The only daughter of William and Kate had her hair back in plaits, as she held hands with her dad on the red carpet.
Youngest Louis, who is two, wore a blue jacket and black trousers, with dark shoes.
In a speech, William said: “I want to pause and pay tribute to a true national treasure, Dame Barbara Windsor, who so sadly passed away last night. She was a giant of the entertainment world, and of course a legend on pantomime stages across the country including here at the London Palladium. And I know we’ll all miss her hugely.”
His father Prince Charles shared a message on Instagram earlier on Friday too.
William added: “We are here tonight for a very special performance. Special, because of you – the key workers here in the audience.
“You include community workers, volunteers, teachers, NHS staff, representatives from the emergency services and military, researchers working on the vaccine, people helping the homeless, those manning vital call centres, and staff from a wide range of frontline charities – to name but a few.
“You have given your absolute all this year, and made remarkable sacrifices.
“So too have your families, who I’m sure have seen far less of you than they would have liked. It’s lovely that you are all here together tonight.”
William and Kate wore face masks while in the theatre, but their children do not need to, as they are under 11.
The family watched the show, which included Julian Clary, Elaine Paige and a host of stars, from the royal box.
The event is the family’s first red carpet outing as a five.
George and Charlotte appeared to enjoy sitting in the royal box, and were spotted whispering to each other.
But when their father William came back up to take his seat, he sat in between his oldest children, leading Charlotte to put her head in her hands for some reason.
Guests were encouraged to wear Christmas jumpers for the evening.
The trip to the Palladium came soon after the royal couple completed a whistle stop tour of the UK, visiting several towns and cities over the course of three days to thank key workers and volunteers for their work during the coronavirus pandemic.
Although royal sources said the engagements had been planned in accordance with the rules in place in each devolved nation, the duke and duchess did come under fire from some ministers in Scotland and Wales for crossing the borders.
Boris Johnson’s spokesman initially indicated he was reluctant to back the three day tour, but the Prime Minister swiftly backtracked with a message of support for their morale boost.
Watch: Prince William pays tribute to Dame Barbara Windsor
George and Charlotte go to school at Thomas’s Battersea, and Louis is not yet in school or nursery.
They were homeschooled by William and Kate during the first lockdown at their Norfolk home of Anmer Hall.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are reportedly keen to ensure their children have a relatively normal upbringing, and though George and Charlotte have both accompanied them on royal tours in the past, they tend to be left at home now.
The couple gives hints about how they are getting on, and recently they were allowed to meet one of their heroes, David Attenborough, as William worked with him to launch the Earthshot Prize.