Kate Middleton chats with teen footballer at festive tea party

A football coach has described the moment guests at a festive tea party got a very special Christmas surprise – when the Princess of Wales joined them at a tea party – calling it ‘just breathtaking’.

In a short clip released ahead of Kate’s Together at Christmas Carol Service, which airs on ITV at 7:45pm this evening, guests at the gathering are seen looking wide-eyed with shock as Kate, 41, quietly enters the room through a side door.

Teen footballer Rico, one of the guests, who thought he was just being reunited with his childhood football coach Russell Gray, is seen grinning broadly as the Princess reaches out to shake his hand.

Kate, wear a red £1,350 Miu Miu cardigan and matching red trousers, surprised hardworking adults in the childcare sector with the tea party – in a special set that will be shown ahead of the royal’s Together at Christmas service.

'Do you mind if I join you?' Dressed in a very festive red - including a favourite Miu Miu jumper - the Princess of Wales leaves teenage footballer Rico looking shocked as she takes a seat at the festive tea party table

The special was filmed last month in London, and Kate Middleton spent time hearing how those around the table had helped to inspire young people; they were accompanied by five children whose lives had been helped by positive mentors.

Chatting with the Princess of Wales, Rico’s former coach Russell, 70, from Manchester, described the importance of helping children build confidence during the early years.

He said: ‘If you can teach them self-reliance, responsibility, self esteem – football and teamwork does all that.’

Meanwhile, young Rico told her being mentored by Russell had helped him, saying: ‘It’s brought trust. If you can trust one person then you can trust more people.’

The Princess arrived through a side door to surprise the pair; Rico's former football coach Russell Gray said the royal 'took the air out of the room'

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The Princess arrived through a side door to surprise the pair; Rico’s former football coach Russell Gray said the royal ‘took the air out of the room’

Kate spent time with the youngster, who told her that his positive relationship with his football coach had helped him build trust

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Kate spent time with the youngster, who told her that his positive relationship with his football coach had helped him build trust

Rico looked starstruck to meet the royal, listening intently as the table discussed the importance of early years education and mentoring

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Rico looked starstruck to meet the royal, listening intently as the table discussed the importance of early years education and mentoring

Well hello! Dressed in a very festive red - including a favourite Miu Miu jumper - the Princess of Wales shakes the hand of teenage footballer Rico at a surprise festive meeting

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Well hello! Dressed in a very festive red – including a favourite Miu Miu jumper – the Princess of Wales shakes the hand of teenage footballer Rico at a surprise festive meeting

The Princess of Wales surprised three hardworking adults in the childcaring sector with a Christmas Tea Party - in a special set to air tomorrow as part of the royal's 'Together at Christmas ' Carol Service. Pictured meeting Brenda Ford (left) and Poppy, 11 (right)

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The Princess of Wales surprised three hardworking adults in the childcaring sector with a Christmas Tea Party – in a special set to air tomorrow as part of the royal’s ‘Together at Christmas ‘ Carol Service. Pictured meeting Brenda Ford (left) and Poppy, 11 (right)

Speaking of the surprise royal visit, Russell said: ‘It was just breathtaking. She took the air out of the room.’

After a joyful reunion between the adults and the children they had mentored, the Princess arrived through a side door to surprise them, saying: ‘Sorry to disturb the party, hope you don’t mind!’

Photos released by Kensington Palace show Brenda Ford, a retired mental health nurse from Sussex – who volunteers in a local schools, holding onto the Princess’s hand as the pair enjoy a spirited chat.

Kate chatted to Russell Gray, who told her 'If you can teach children self-reliance, responsibility, self esteem - football and teamwork does all that.'

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Kate chatted to Russell Gray, who told her ‘If you can teach children self-reliance, responsibility, self esteem – football and teamwork does all that.’

Kate Middleton , 41, heard how they are helping to inspire young people, accompanied by five kids who had their lives shaped by positive mentors. Pictured: Music therapist Ray Travasso (left) and brothers George, 12, and Henry, 10, who was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy at 18 months old

The Princess also met brothers George and Henry Barnard, aged 12 and 10, who have benefited from musical therapy at East Anglia Children’s Hospice, where Kate is Patron.

The royal spoke to the brothers for fifteen minutes about their love of music, sharing that Prince George enjoys the guitar, Princess Charlotte loves singing, and Prince Louis is a fan of the drums.

The Princess then gave the boys ‘beautifully wrapped presents’, which they are saving for Christmas Day.

She also heard from Ray, a music therapist from the East Anglia Children’s Hospice (EACH), who has delivered music therapy and support to a family after their young boy was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy at 18 months old.

Kate sported a festive red £1,350 cardigan with a white collar from her favourite brand Miu Miu – a favourite of the Princess’s during this time, as she has worn it in other Together at Christmas specials.

Keeping to the festive atmosphere, she teamed it with matching trousers and opted for a natural make-up look.

She styled her chestnut tresses in her signature loose waves.

This year the service focuses on the vital importance of early childhood and thanking those who are supporting the very youngest members of our society during those crucial early years, as part of the Shaping Us campaign.

Earlier this month, Kate brushed shoulders with some very famous faces who were guests at her Christmas carol service.

She stunned in a cream jumper paired with £299 wide-leg Holland Cooper trousers and a stunning bespoke coat from Catherine Walker as she arrived at the venue, where she hosted her third annual Together at Christmas event at Westminster Abbey.

Another airing: Kate's luxurious cashmere-jacquard cardigan features a diamond pattern adorned with white and black roses, complemented by a removable cotton collar

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Another airing: Kate’s luxurious cashmere-jacquard cardigan features a diamond pattern adorned with white and black roses, complemented by a removable cotton collar

The Princess of Wales debuted the festive Miu Miu cardigan in a trailer promoting the 2021 carol service - and wore it with the detachable collar

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The Princess of Wales debuted the festive Miu Miu cardigan in a trailer promoting the 2021 carol service – and wore it with the detachable collar

The royal mother-of-three accessorised with a white handbag from Strathberry and £6,000 dangling earrings from Van Cleef and Arpels, plus nude pumps.

She wore her thick brunette locks in loose curls as they cascaded down her shoulders.

And her smile widened even further as she greeted some very famous faces who had joined her to celebrate the occasion – including esteemed actress Sheila Hancock, radio presenter Roman Kemp and his mother Shirlie, and former American Idol winner Adam Lambert.

The carol service will recognise the selfless efforts of communities throughout the UK, highlighting the importance of coming together to support one another – and it will also feature a surprise performance from piano playing Kate, who will treat guests to a rendition of Last Christmas by Wham!.

The performance will likely be well received by Shirlie – who performed with George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley of Wham! during the 1980s.

The Princess of Wales stunned in an all white outfit as she arrived at Westminster Abbey earlier this month

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The Princess of Wales stunned in an all white outfit as she arrived at Westminster Abbey earlier this month

The Princess of Wales greeted Roman Kemp and his mother Shirlie, who once performed with Wham!, before she took to the piano to play Last Christmas

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The Princess of Wales greeted Roman Kemp and his mother Shirlie, who once performed with Wham!, before she took to the piano to play Last Christmas

The royal mother-of-three looked radiant with her thick brunette locks in loose curls worn hanging down her shoulders

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The royal mother-of-three looked radiant with her thick brunette locks in loose curls worn hanging down her shoulders

Shortly before the service at Westminster Abbey began, the Princess of Wales chatted with an adorable young guest

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Shortly before the service at Westminster Abbey began, the Princess of Wales chatted with an adorable young guest

Kate was joined by Prince William, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, who were all carrying orders of service

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Kate was joined by Prince William, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, who were all carrying orders of service

The Prince and Princess of Wales pose with their children, Charlotte, Louis and George for their annual family Christmas card

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The Prince and Princess of Wales pose with their children, Charlotte, Louis and George for their annual family Christmas card

The Norfolk estate has been the location of the Royals' Christmas celebrations for years

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Ahead of the service, Kate crouched down to chat to seven-year-old Oscar Burrow, from Lancaster, who when aged six climbed 12 mountains raising more than £40,000 for Derian House Children’s Hospice in Chorley, Lancashire.

His mother Kimberley Burrow said afterwards: ‘She said she’d heard about what he’s done and he’s doing a fantastic job, and hopes what he’s doing will inspire other children to do amazing things.’

Spearheaded by the Princess, the concert combines both traditional and modern elements, reaching people of all faiths and none.

The royal family usually maintain their traditions throughout the festive period.

On Christmas Eve, members of the Firm lay out their presents on a table and exchange gifts with each other during teatime.

They spend Christmas day and New Year at Sandringham House, a country estate in Norfolk which was passed onto King Charles after the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II.

The estate covers a whopping 20,000 acres and was originally bought for Edward VII and Alexandra of Denmark, just before they married.

The royals attend St Mary Magdalene in Sandringham on Christmas Day, a country church that visited by Queen Victoria, dating back to the 16th century.

Well-wishers often stand outside, dressed warmly, as they eagerly wait for the royals to greet them on their way from the service.

Many choose to give the family Christmas cards and gifts. One fan gave Prince Louis a feathered Santa toy last year, which he carried with him while his mother, Kate, spoke to a young girl who had come out to say hello.

Buckingham Palace has confirmed that King Charles and Queen Camilla will be attending the morning service at the church this Christmas.

The monarch will likely be joined by his son, the Prince of Wales, along with the Princess of Wales and their children, Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, eight, and Prince Louis, five.

Princess Anne, the Princess Royal, and her family is also expected to be in attendance, alongside her husband, Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence.

One fan gave Prince Louis a feathered Santa toy last year, which he carried with him (pictured)

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One fan gave Prince Louis a feathered Santa toy last year, which he carried with him (pictured)

The Wales family walking into St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham last year

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