Kate Middleton snubs BBC gig at royal Albert Hall

TV journalists have been left “mortified” after Kate Middleton turned down a post-New Year charity concert she had attended the year before.

The Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte and the Duke of Cambridge had attended the ITV Christmas show at the Royal Albert Hall, with Prince Harry last year.

This year, Middleton chose to send invitations to her nearest and dearest instead.

The Royal Television Society dinner, at which Middleton was due to address her former home of BBC Radio 1, had been expected to mark a high point in the evening, as the three had talked about the partnership.

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A royal source told the Sun that Middleton made the decision after finding out the venue had been chosen for another charity event in December.

The broadcaster confirmed the snub and added that it would honour Middleton’s invitation to perform at a royal production of A Christmas Carol next year.

A source said: “The BBC very much appreciates the grace and consideration with which the royal family have invited us to The Royal Albert Hall to broadcast for charity, particularly on such an important night for our charitable partners.

“We are delighted to be on the bill for A Christmas Carol next year and honoured to welcome them into Albert Hall for the first time.”

On its website, the BBC said the royals had “asked us to celebrate Christmas with them this year”.

SheKnows reported that members of the royal family, including the Duchess of Sussex, the Queen and Prince Philip, had attended the ITV show last year.

It said the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had stayed at the new home of Radio 1, the former BBC Broadcasting House, until Christmas 2016.

The sources said the royals had become “dedicated” to getting more involved with charity and the BBC provided a “platform” for this.

It was the second time that the television corporation had had the first-night exclusive for a charity performance.

Last year the royals had been guest of honour at the Royal Television Society awards.

Actress Livia Firth’s new documentary about the royals, The Queen’s Children, is being screened in the first three episodes of tonight’s series of The Duchess.

Sara Henderson and Eddie Mair, the BBC’s royal correspondent and its Today presenter, were among the guests at the 2017 Royal Albert Hall concert.

In a tweet on Sunday, Henderson wrote: “With big shocks in store at the BBC tonight… I found out last week I’ll be attending A Christmas Carol, to my surprise.

“When it was offered to me for some big podcasting event… the BBC and ITV reached an understanding – that the US director Brad Silberling’s production would be screened at Christmas day/night and then this offering of me and a few other journalists went ‘somewhere along the lines of ‘we’ll do a telly show for you’.

“I was mortified. In fact there were a few people in the Queen’s Children filming who were going ‘whoosh, we’re so mortified’.

“But then the BBC put their hands up with hosts Eddie Mair and Sara Henderson present and said ‘yes, we get this’, but I wish I had been a little more confident in 2015/2016.

“In any case, I’m genuinely grateful that the BBC had managed to get things together in a rational and sensible way for the evening. It’s going to be amazing.”

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