It was a outing kept firmly under wraps, but the secret was out on Friday afternoon in London as Prince William and Duchess Kate stepped on to the red carpet with their children to enjoy a very special trip to the theater.
The Cambridge family visited the London Palladium for a December 11 holiday performance of a classic British pantomime show — and Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis couldn’t stop smiling as they made their way inside.
It was a rare night out for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their family and a new experience for the children who were walking their first ever red carpet. As their parents were greeted by theater staff, George smiled confidently as nearby photographers took their photos. Charlotte showed off her trademark confidence as she strode ahead away from dad as she approached the doors, while Louis, seemed rather bemused by all of the commotion around him.
Kate looked stylish for the occasion, wearing an Alessandra Rich dress with a Halcyon Days gold bangle and a pair of Simone Rocha pearl drop earrings. Prince Louis showed off his thrifty side in an Amaia wool jacket, previously owned by his big brother George, who was wearing a Ralph Lauren sweater for the Friday outing.
The special performance of Pantoland at the Palladium, a traditional slapstick-style British comedy show that is unusually enjoyed by children around the holidays, had been put on as a thank you for key workers by the UK’s National Lottery charity. Guests included National Health Service staff, delivery drivers, refuse collectors, emergency services staff, charity workers, retail workers and charity volunteers.
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And while the Cambridges were photographed without masks outside the theater, inside both William and Kate wore stylish masks in their royal box seats. Audience members were spaced out inside the venue and seating numbers had greatly been reduced to ensure social distancing. As current UK government guidelines state, children under the age of 11 aren’t required to wear masks.
Before the performance, Prince William gave a short speech thanking individuals across the country for the sacrifices they have made during the pandemic and to keep the country operating. “You have given your absolute all this year, and made remarkable sacrifices,” he said, as Kate and the children looked on proudly. “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.”
He continued, “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.”
Throughout the pantomime, Louis could be seen enthusiastically clapping along to the action taking place on stage. While Charlotte could be seen giggling and bouncing in her seat.
The arts have suffered greatly in the UK due to the coronavirus pandemic and the National Lottery is supporting pantomimes at ten theaters across the country, helping safely open their doors to the public by providing funding for the many empty seats required for social distancing indoors.
This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR US.