• Thu. Jan 27th, 2022

Kate Middleton leaves fans 'speechless' with piano performance

Dec 25, 2021

Kate Middleton leaves viewers ‘speechless’ with ‘touching’ piano performance at Westminster Abbey service – and fans say she is ‘just like Diana’ after late royal surprised guests in 1988 with her musical talents

  • The Duchess of Cambridge, 39, stunned onlookers as she played the piano 
  • She accompanied Tom Walker with a poignant song performed by candlelight
  • The duo performed at Kate’s  Westminster Abbey carol concert in London

Kate Middleton has left viewers ‘speechless’ with her ‘touching and mesmerising’ piano performance at her Westminster Abbey carol concert after it aired on TV last night.

The Duchess of Cambridge, 39, stunned onlookers as she played the piano to accompany singer Tom Walker with a poignant song performed by candlelight at the service in London, which was a royal family affair.

Kate, who has tickled the ivories since she was a child, recorded the song with Walker in the Chapter House of the Abbey, one day before a community carol service on December 8 which was shown on ITV yesterday evening. 

They played his Christmas single ‘For Those Who Can’t Be Here’ together – and despite the Duchess reportedly feeling ‘quite nervous’, fans rushed to Twitter to praise her performance.

Others noted how Kate seemingly channelled her late mother-in-law Princess Diana, who surprised onlookers in 1988 in Australia with her own piano performance. 

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Kate Middleton (pictured) has left viewers ‘speechless’ with her ‘touching and mesmerising’ piano performance at her Westminster Abbey carol concert after it aired on TV last night

Some royal fans noted how Kate seemingly channelled her late mother-in-law Princess Diana, who surprised onlookers in 1988 in Australia with her own piano performance (pictured)

Despite Kate reportedly feeling ‘quite nervous’, fans rushed to Twitter to praise her performance  (above)

During Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s visit to Melbourne on their 1988 royal tour of Australia, they visited Melbourne College of Arts. 

When there, the princess delighted well-wishers by playing part of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2, apparently without any sheet music. 

It was Diana’s second royal tour of Australia, taking place five months after her first visit, which was recently fictionalised on Netflix’s The Crown.  

The news footage of the moment shows Prince Charles and Princess Diana walking into a rehearsal room where musicians are playing in a semi-circle. 

Charles is cajoled into playing the cello by Professor Henri Touzeau, his former music tutor who later worked in Australia. 

The prince obligingly plays a few notes before putting down the bow. The professor then turns his attention to the princess, who is stylishly dressed in a white and navy suit and matching wide-brimmed hat.

 

 Reaction: Some fans pointed out the similarities between Kate and Diana’s piano performance

During Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s visit to Melbourne on their 1988 royal tour of Australia, they visited Melbourne College of Arts. When there, the princess delighted well-wishers by playing part of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2, apparently without any sheet music (pictured)

After some initial hesitation, Princess Diana takes a seat at the piano and begins to play the concerto, which the newsreader describes as ‘complicated’.

Princess Diana was an accomplished musician and started playing piano as a young girl.

She took after her maternal grandmother, Ruth Boche, Baroness Fermoy, who was a talented pianist and studied with Alfred Cortot at the Paris Conservatoire in the 1920s.

One fan noted of Kate and Diana’s performances: ‘She is just like Princess Diana, she played the piano too, and quite well in fact.’

Another said: ‘Princess Diana played the piano good too! How lovely the Duchess shares same gift. It’s been wonderful seeing all her talents, from photography to beekeeping and now the piano.’

Kate plays the grand piano while Tom Walker sings his emotional Christmas single For Those Who Can’t Be Here, which aired on ITV on Christmas Eve

Reaction: Meanwhile, viewers were full of praise for the Duchess of Cambridge following her performance, with one saying: ”Such a beautiful and moving performance.’

Meanwhile, viewers were full of praise for the Duchess of Cambridge following her performance, with one saying: ”Such a beautiful and moving performance.’

Another said: ‘This is absolutely gorgeous and Kate on the piano for Tom Walker?? Absolute magic.’

A third added: ‘Oh my… Catherine is playing the piano. Even the cat froze, it just wasn’t sure if it was safe to continue noisily attacking the tree! 

A fourth said: ‘This song, and having Duchess Kate play the piano, was so touching for anyone who lost someone recently or not. The Holidays always make you remember them. Thank you!’

Kate and Walker played his Christmas single ‘For Those Who Can’t Be Here’ together, after the Duchess had the idea for the performance following a meeting with Walker when she heard him play at a charity function in October. 

At that event for The Forward Trust, a London-based charity that helps people with drug and alcohol dependence, Walker played ‘Leave a Light On’ – a song about the struggles of those experiencing addiction.

Walker praised Kate (pictured playing the piano during Friday’s aired ITV performance) for being an ‘amazing musician’ and said that although she was quite nervous when they first rehearsed in a studio, she went away and ‘invested a lot of time and energy into getting it right’

Kate (seen far left) and Tom Walker (centre) gave an emotional performance by candlelight at Westminster Abbey

And the 30-year-old singer was then approached to play for the carol service, with Kate having come up with the idea of accompanying him on the piano after music brought ‘great comfort’ to her during the lockdowns.

The Duchess was said to be ‘quite nervous’ during her first rehearsal ‘because she hadn’t played with another musician in a very long time’, reported Mirror Online. 

Walker said the pair had to sit on opposite sides of the room to practice the emotional performance due to Covid. 

He told MailOnline the whole plan was ‘very, very secret’, adding that they were both scared of messing it up.  

While Kate has played the piano since childhood, the type she was practicing on, which would be the same one used in the performance, was different to hers at home, so she had to get used to it, revealed Walker.  

Prince William and Kate smile at each other at ‘Royal Carols: Together At Christmas’ at Westminster Abbey on December 8

He said: ‘We rehearsed the song like nine times and by the end of it she’d absolutely nailed it, and then she went away for a couple of days and practised it, and then we finally got to do the recording of it.’ 

He added: ‘I think we were both really nervous that it wasn’t going to go quite to plan and one of us would let down the other person or whatever, but she was absolutely fabulous – she smashed it.’ 

‘For Those Who Can’t Be Here’ by Tom Walker 

We put the lights up on the tree

And all the presents underneath

Light the fire it’s getting cold

Another year of will it snow

Mixing lager and champagne

Something I’ll never do again

Round the table banter flows

Praying no one rocks the boat

 

Still I know this picture’s not quite right

There’s someone on your mind

First Christmastime without him by your side, I know

The sound of Christmas bells

They never say farewell

So we laugh, we shed a tear

For those who can’t be here

 

We’re drinking sherry just because

Confessing all our Christmas love

Watch Home Alone for the thousandth time

It’s the only movie that we all like

 

But I know this picture’s not quite right

There’s someone on my mind

First Christmastime without him by our side, I know

He loved these Christmas bells

Because they never say farewell

So we laugh, we shed a tear

For those who can’t be here

 

For those who can’t be here

For those who can’t be here

(The bells ring out for them, for those who can’t be here)

(The bells ring out for them, for those who can’t be here)

(The bells ring out for them, for those who can’t be here)

(The bells ring out for them, for those who can’t be here)  

The song was written by Walker for ‘anyone raising a glass around the table remembering those who can’t be with us’ this festive season – as hundreds of thousands of people are set to spend Christmas Day in self-isolation with Covid-19, while others think of members of their family and friends they have lost to the virus or other causes. 

Walker described the Duchess as a ‘lovely, kind and warm hearted person’ and praised her for having ‘absolutely smashed’ the performance, adding that it was a ‘crazy pinch yourself kind of day’ for him.

He also praised Kate for being an ‘amazing musician’ and said that although she was quite nervous when they first rehearsed in a studio, she went away and ‘invested a lot of time and energy into getting it right’.

Walker gave the Duchess a backing track to practise with before the performance and said he was ‘shocked at how much better she was’ when it came to the actual show, which left him ‘really impressed.’

Explaining that his mother had a ‘total freak out’, he said: ‘It was truly an honour playing alongside The Duchess for Royal Carols: Together At Christmas. Without doubt, it was a once in a lifetime experience.

‘I thought she absolutely smashed the performance; it’s not easy to just jump behind a piano with a bunch of musicians you’ve never played with before and record live takes to camera, but she completely nailed it. 

‘She’s such a lovely, kind and warm hearted person and she took the time to thank everyone personally for the opportunity to play together. 

‘It was a crazy pinch yourself kind of day for me, to be in such a beautiful venue playing alongside The Duchess with my band and a string quartet.

‘I certainly won’t forget that in a hurry. My mum had a total freak out when she saw it on the telly. 

‘I know this song will resonate with a lot of people this Christmas and my heart goes out to anyone raising a glass around the table remembering those who can’t be with us.’

The performance formed part of the Royal Carols: Together At Christmas event which was held by Kate as a thank you to the people who have supported their communities during the pandemic. 

A royal source said: ‘The idea for the performance was the Duchess’. She was impressed by Tom when she met him and heard him play Leave a Light On – a song about the struggles of those experiencing addiction, an issue which as you know, she is passionate about – at a Forward Trust event in October.

‘He was approached to play at the service, and his Christmas song, For Those Who Can’t Be Here, which has such pertinence for so many this year, also struck a chord with the Duchess who came up with the idea of accompanying Tom on the piano. 

‘She has played the piano since she was a child.

‘Music was very important to the Duchess during the lockdowns and playing the piano brought great comfort to her. 

‘She also recognises the powerful way in which music brings people together – especially during difficult times. For these reasons, she was keen to be part of Tom’s performance in this way.’ 

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