James Bond stars Daniel Craig and Dame Judi Dench have joined the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall in recording a much-loved festive poem in aid of charity.
Charles and Camilla have been filmed narrating ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas with a host of performers to raise awareness about the Actors’ Benevolent Fund (ABF) which has received more requests for help this year than ever before.
The actors who took part included Tom Hardy, Dame Maggie Smith, Joanna Lumley, Ncuti Gatwa and the ABF’s president Dame Penelope Keith.
The heir to the throne read the famous opening lines of Clement Clarke Moore’s poem: “‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.”
Charles is the ABF’s patron and came up with the idea of gathering a group of actors for the reading after being approached by the charity to help following Covid-19’s major impact on the acting profession.
Coronavirus restrictions have left theatres and cinemas empty this Christmas after a year when many actors have seen work projects cancelled or postponed.
The prince and his wife recorded the poem at their London home Clarence House, and were joined by some of the actors including Lumley, Hardy and Gatwa who read their lines under Covid-19 regulations over the past few weeks.
The full video will be posted on Clarence House’s social media channels on Christmas Eve.
The ABF supports actors, actresses and stage managers who are unable to work due to illness, injury or old age and those experiencing financial hardship.
Before the pandemic the ABF mainly supported those of retirement age but during 2020 they have been largely helping those aged 18-47.
In April the charity launched an Emergency Grant Fund to support those experiencing financial hardship due to the pandemic.
Charles and Camilla have been supporting the arts and entertainment sector during the recent difficult period.
In May, Charles raised concerns about how orchestras and theatres would survive the coronavirus crisis.
And during a tour of London’s 100 Club and Soho Theatre at the start of December, the prince said he was “praying” entertainment venues would be able to reopen soon.
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