LONDON – With millions of Britons preparing to celebrate Christmas under the strict restrictions of locking the coronavirus, the British royal family held a festive party on Christmas Eve.
Prince Charles (72) and his wife Camilla they were joined by an ensemble of celebrities, including actors Tom Hardy, Judi Dench and Maggie Smith, to perform “The Visit of St. Nicholas,” a Christmas poem broader called “Twas the Night Before Christmas.”
Charles recites the first lines of a classic work from 1823, which depicts Saint Nicholas or Santa Claus and his sleigh pulled by eight reindeer that arrived at the family home.
The heir to the throne also brings the final line “Merry Christmas to all and good night to all,” with a small boom.
Charles, an amateur actor in his youth, is a sponsor of the Actors Charitable Fund, a century-old British charity that has supported actors facing financial difficulties. The video is intended to raise funds in a year when the arts and creative industries have been hit hard, theaters and galleries have been closed, and television and film productions have been canceled.
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Millions will adjust to Queen Elizabeth’s annual speech at Christmas, a long-standing seasonal tradition when the monarch addresses the nation.
The royal family usually spends the holiday season in Sandringham, Norfolk, East Anglia, with a Christmas church service. This year, Buckingham Palace announced that the 94-year-old monarch and her husband Philip will celebrate Christmas at Windsor Castle, amid a pandemic.
Charles ’son Prince William and his wife Kate announced their holiday greetings last week,, showing a relaxed family photo with their three children – George (7), Charlotte (5) and Louis (2) – sitting with wide smiles at hay bales at their country residence in eastern England.
Although the royal families no longer work, Charles ’younger son, Prince Harry, and his wife Meghan, who moved to the United States earlier this year, donated to London’s animal welfare charity, Mayhew. Meghan is the patron of a small charity that shared the couple’s holiday greeting card.
The picture shows an art drawing based on a photo Meghan’s mother took at their California home earlier this month. The couple is seen playing in the garden with their young son Archie and two dogs.
The little Christmas tree in the picture, including home decorations, was chosen by Archie, a spokesman for the family told NBC News, and the tree will be placed again after the holidays.
The Lives of Royal Families sparked a new interest this year, and many locked fans have entered the fourth season of the Netflix series “Crown”. For the first time in the series, Princess Diana appeared and caused confusion as British politicians asked Netflix to make it clear that the show was fiction.
Reuters contributed to this report.