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UK royals to gather for Christmas concert hosted by the Princess of Wales

Britain's Prince William and Catherine, Princess of Wales greet well-wishers along the Long Walk outside Windsor Castle

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's royals will gather at London's Westminster Abbey on Friday for what has become an annual Christmas carol concert hosted by Kate, the Princess of Wales.

Kate will be joined by her husband Prince William, the heir to the throne, who will give a reading during the service at the Abbey where King Charles was crowned in May and the funeral for Queen Elizabeth was held last year.

Guests will include those from charities connected to the royals, and the event will feature musical performances from singer-songwriter Freya Ridings and a duet from soul artist Beverley Knight and U.S. singer Adam Lambert.

The service will form part of the "Royal Carols: Together At Christmas" programme to be broadcast on Britain's ITV on Christmas Eve, and which will also include an introduction from Kate.

"Join me this Christmas Eve for a special carol service, as we say a heartfelt thank you to all those supporting the very youngest members of our society during those crucial early years," she says in a promotional clip.

Last year, many of the royals who attended the carol concert wore matching burgundy-coloured coats which British media interpreted as a message of togetherness after criticism about the family from William's younger Prince Harry and his U.S. wife Meghan in their Netflix documentary which was broadcast last December.

Earlier this week, Kate and William were pictured with King Charles and his wife Queen Camilla in what royal commentators also said was a show of unity after the resurfacing of a royal race row, sparked by Harry and Meghan's interview with U.S. TV host Oprah Winfrey in 2021.

The Dutch translation of a book by journalist Omid Scobie, who is regarded as being sympathetic to the couple, identified Charles and Kate as the two royals who had held "conversations" about how dark Harry and Meghan's son Archie's skin might be before he was born

The book's publisher has said the naming was an error and Scobie has denied producing a version with the names included. Neither Buckingham Palace nor the couple, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, have commented.

(Reporting by Michael Holden; editing by Christina Fincher)