The Queen, 94, beamed a huge smile as she arrived at Windsor Castle’s quadrangle to lead tributes to the work of local volunteers and key workers during the coronavirus pandemic. The Monarch was joined at the outdoor event in the grounds of her Berkshire residence by the Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, The Earl and Countess of Wessex and The Princess Royal.
Braving the freezing temperatures and maintaining social distancing, the royals stood on the steps of Equerries’ entrance at Windsor Castle and were treated to a special Christmas carol performance by the Regent Hall Band of the Salvation Army.
The orchestra played a moving rendition of popular festive song Silent Night.
The Queen wrapped up for the engagement and wore a vibrant red coat, with matching hat and black gloves.
The engagement also provided an opportunity for the royals to speak to a number of organisations and charities about their work helping others during the Christmas season.
Kate, 38, wearing a dark green coat with faux fur neckline and William wearing a long black coat were pictured speaking to a number of volunteers in an outdoor gazebo.
The Duke and Duchess arrived at Windsor Castle after completing their royal train tour of England, Scotland and Wales.
The two-day tour took the royal couple more than 1,000 miles across the UK in order to pay tribute to the extraordinary work of key workers and communities during the COVID-19 crisis.
Prior to arriving this afternoon, they had conducted an engagement nearby in Reading to meet nurses at the Royal Berkshire Hospital – which holds an extra special place in the heart of the Duchess.
Kate was born at the facility on January 9, 1982, and Graham Sims, chairman of Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Welcome back.”
The tour had been criticised by Welsh and Scottish ministers amid coronavirus restrictions but was given the backing of the Prime Minister.
After initially stating the tour was a “matter for the Palace” Number 10 said it would provide a “welcome morale boost to frontline workers”.
The final day of the tour began in Wales, where Kate and William visited Cardiff Castle and met university students to discuss the challenges of mental health felt by young people during the past nine months.
READ MORE: Brexit LIVE: EU setting ‘trap’ for Boris after tricking May
The Queen and Prince Philip, 99, have already opted to celebrate a quiet Christmas alone at Windsor.
The royal couple also browsed some of the Christmas stalls and toasted large marshmallows over a fire.
While touching the sweet treat, Kate joked: “I’m going to have that marshmallow on my fingers all day.”
She added she had ordered large marshmallows for her three children George, Charlotte and Louis for their bonfire night celebrations and joked “there was a bit of a sugar rush”.