It was a family affair for the Cambridges on Friday afternoon as the entire family attended a special performance of The National Lottery’s Pantoland at The Palladium in honour of key workers.
William and Kate, accompanied by their children Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis, were in attendance for this special show; marking one of the rare times the Cambridge children have joined in on an official royal engagement.
The National Lottery’s Pantoland is a special event this holiday season, as 10 theatres around the United Kingdom received funding to put on special pantomime performances while the National Lottery absorbed the cost of empty seats so the theatres could maintain social distancing guidelines.
Among the invited guests for Friday’s special showing were key and frontline workers who have gone above and beyond during the pandemic, including volunteers, charity workers, NHS staff and emergency services staff, delivery drivers and refuse collectors, among others.
Before the performance, Prince William gave a short speech saying: “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.
“You are representative of the huge number of people across the UK who have stepped forward to make a difference this year in so many crucial ways. The country owes you a huge debt of gratitude.
“I hope you all thoroughly enjoy yourselves this evening. It is the least we could do to thank you for everything you do – day in, day out – to keep our country safe and look after those who need help the most.
“From all of us – we wish you all a very Happy Christmas!”
The Duke also included a tribute to the late Dame Barbara Windsor, herself a regular pantomime performer, saying, “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.”
During the performance, the Cambridges enjoyed the show from the Royal Box, with Prince Louis sitting on his mother’s lap. At the interval, William and Kate attended a brief reception to meet with key worker families to hear how the pandemic has affected them.