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British RoyalsThe Sussexes

The Duchess of Sussex gives a reading at special Christmas Service

The Duchess of Sussex read the inspirational words of a celebrated poem as she joined Prince Harry at a special carol service with very personal links for her husband. For the first time, Meghan joined the Duke of Sussex at the annual Christmas service held by the Henry van Straubenzee Memorial Fund, set up to remember one of Harry’s closest friends.

Meghan read the poem ”Our Deepest Fear” by Marianne Williamson which opens with the famous lines ”Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us”. It was one of a series of readings during the ceremony which was held at St. Luke’s Church, Chelsea.

The Duke of Sussex also made an appeal at the service on behalf of the Fund which aims to fight poverty in Uganda through education. Henry van Straubenzee, a friend of both Prince Harry and the Duke of Cambridge, was due to teach in a school in Uganda as part of his gap year. However, he was killed in a car crash as a passenger on December 14th 2002 at the age of 18, before his travels began.

His parents, Claire and Alex, made a donation to a school in Uganda in his memory and from that, their Memorial Fund grew. It has since helped dozens of schools and thousands of pupils in Africa. Harry and William, who became close friends of Henry van Straubenzee while at Ludgrove School, have been patrons of the fund since 2009.

The Duchess of Cambridge’s sister, Pippa Middleton, and her husband, James Matthews also attended the ceremony. Kate and William couldn’t take part this year as they were at the Diplomatic Corps reception being held on the same evening at Buckingham Palace.

About author

Lydia Starbuck is Associate Editor at Royal Central and the main producer and presenter of the Royal Central Podcast and Royal Central Extra. Lydia is also a pen name of June Woolerton, a journalist and writer with over twenty years experience in TV, radio, print and online. June has been a reporter, producer and editor, picking up several awards over the years. She's appeared on outlets including BBC 5 Live, BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Local Radio and has also helped set up a commercial radio station. June is also an accomplished writer with a wide range of material published online and in print. She is the author of two novels, published as e-books. She is also a marriage registrar and ceremony celebrant.