BRAVE Kate Middleton revealed her hidden talent as she overcame nerves to play the piano with pop star Tom Walker during her Christmas carol concert.
The Duchess of Cambridge made a surprise musical appearance for her Christmas Eve telly bonanza filmed at Westminster Abbey.
Festive footage from tonight's hour-long carol concert shows Kate, 39, behind the piano and joins Tom Walker as he performs his hit 'For Those Who Can't Be Here'.
The duchess invited 1,200 stars and heroes to the Royal Carols: Together at Christmas show, which aired at 7.30pm tonight.
It was screened by ITV after it was stripped from the BBC because of a royal row over its documentary on Wils and Harry.
Pals of the duchess said that she "recognises the powerful way in which music brings people together" and in particular "during difficult times".
Kate's faultless performance on telly inside the Abbey with singers and string quartet comes after her childhood piano teacher previously claimed "I don't think she was ever going to be a concert pianist".
Kate, seen in a red Catherine Walker coat and sapphire diamond fringed earrings on loan from the Queen, was joined by Prince William, her parents and siblings James and Pippa, at the concert filmed earlier this month.
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Telly host Kate Garraway gave a reading and music was also performed by Leona Lewis and Ellie Goulding.
While Kate and William's three kids – Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis – didn't make the carol service, other royal family members such as Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice were in attendance.
Sophie, Countess of Wessex, Zara and Mike Tindall were also spotted alongside the Cambridges.
Among the audience were representatives of her charities and people she had met throughout the year.
These included Mia Sneddon, six, who appeared in Kate's Hold Still picture project and double-amputee hero Tony Hudgell who raised more than a million pounds after he was inspired by Captain Sir Tom Moore.
But Kate's secret stint behind the piano was kept under wraps before the show – until the palace released a four-second teaser at 6am this morning.
Speaking after the recording last month, performer Tom Walker 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. So 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.
"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."
Sources close to Kate revealed the performance was pre-recorded in the Chapter House at Westminster Abbey, the day before the service.
She came up with the idea after watching him sing earlier this year.
HITTING THE RIGHT NOTE
A royal source said: "The idea for the performance was The duchess’s.
"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.
"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."
Earlier this week, the duchess revealed music had played a huge role in coping at home during the lockdown.
Piano teacher Daniel Nicholls taught Kate to play the piano between the ages of 11 and 13.
But in 20211, he said: "I don't think she was ever going to be a concert pianist."
Musical Kate swapped piano for playing the flute and singing in her teenage years.
She performed with younger sister Pippa in her school's senior flute group – named the Tootie-Flooties.
Kate achieved Grade 5 in both singing and music theory.
When she was young, the Queen played the piano and Prince Charles studied the Cello.
Princess Diana also studied the piano when she was younger.
Kate is spending Christmas with Wiliam, George, Charlotte and Louis, and members of the Middleton clan at their home Anmer Hall, in Norfolk.
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