Unseen picture of Princess Kate as a toddler drives fans wild as they spot family similarity

The Princess of Wales has shared a never-before-seen Christmas photo ahead of her third annual Together at Christmas carol concert which will air later this week on Christmas Eve.

The adorable snap, taken 40 years ago, shows Kate as a baby during the Middleton family Christmas celebrations in 1983. An almost two-year-old Kate can be seen sitting at the dinner table wearing a cute beaded necklace in front of festive decorations.

This year's carol service, which was filmed at Westminster Abbey on 8 December focused on the vital importance of early years and the role played by people shaping future generations, as part of the Shaping Us campaign.

And while the image is very sweet, eagle-eyed royal fans have been quick to point out an unmissable likeness between the Princess and a young member of her family.

The never-before-seen image of the future Princess of Wales has delighted royal fans, with many being quick to point out just how alike she appears to her youngest son, Prince Louis.

The five-year-old Prince, who is already beloved for his cheeky contributions to national events, is often compared to his mother – while it is often said that his elder siblings, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, get their looks from their father.

Taking to social media, royal fans commented on Louis being the "spitting image" of young Kate.

One person wrote: "OMG all I can see is little Prince Louis." Another added: "I thought it was a picture of Prince Louis at first.. he is her mini-me." A third said: "Beautiful picture and Louis is definitely her twin!"

The Princess of Wales was joined at the carol service earlier this month by husband William and their children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis and among the 1,500 guests were midwives, nursery teachers and baby bank volunteers.

Among many highlights of the show was a poignant musical tribute paid to John Lennon and George Michael with the concert held 43 years to the day the former Beatle was shot dead.

During the concert Oscar winner Jim Broadbent read an extract from Letters From Father Christmas by Lord of the Rings author JRR Tolkien and singers Beverley Knight and Adam Lambert performed.

The new image of Kate comes as it was revealed that the Princess will deliver a heartfelt thanks to all those helping babies and young children "feel safe, valued and loved" in a video message introducing her service. In her message, Kate will say: "Christmas is a time when we come together and celebrate the birth of a newborn baby."

"The arrival of every baby is a precious and momentous time, it brings us together to reflect on new beginnings and brings hope for the future. Throughout our earliest interactions, relationships and experiences, with those who love us, even before we are born, we lay the foundations to so much of what that future will depend on."

"But only by valuing and supporting the vital role of the adults in a child's world can we hope to make a difference. And so tonight's guests have been invited in recognition of their support of our youngest children, as we shine a spotlight on the critical role they play in nurturing and raising the future generation."

"From parents and carers, to early educators, midwives, health visitors and community volunteers, thank you for all you do in helping the very youngest members of our communities, feel safe, valued and loved. This is not just making a difference to children today, it will go on to shape a happier, healthier, fairer world in the future."

Royal Carols: Together At Christmas will be screened at 7.45pm on ITV1 and ITV X on Christmas Eve.

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