When Did Kate Middleton Learn to Play the Piano? All About Her Hidden Talent!

The Duchess of Cambridge has taken "great comfort" in playing music throughout the pandemic, says a royal source

In this image released December 24, 2021, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge accompanies singer Tom Walker on the piano during a performance of his song 'For Those Who Can't Be Here' during Royal Carols - Together At Christmas, a Christmas carol concert hosted by the Duchess of Cambridge at Westminster Abbey in London on December 8, which was broadcast on Christmas Eve 2021.
Kate Middleton plays piano at Together At Christmas 2021. Photo: Alex Bramall/Kensington Palace via Getty

Kate Middleton has shown off her tennis abilities, drawing skills and photography know-how in the past, but she wowed everyone at the Christmas carol concert she hosted on Dec. 8 with a newly revealed hidden talent: playing the piano!

The royal, 39, confidently accompanied singer Tom Walker on the keys (in her first public performance!) for his poignant rendition of "For Those Who Can't Be Here," surrounded by candles lighting up Westminster Abbey.

According to a royal source, the idea for the performance came from the Duchess of Cambridge herself, who learned the piano as a child and has taken "great comfort" in playing music throughout the pandemic.

"Music was very important to the Duchess during the lockdowns," says the royal source. "She also recognizes the powerful way in which music brings people together — especially during difficult times. For these reasons, she was keen to be part of Tom's performance in this way."

Kate's former piano instructor Daniel Nicholls previously opened up to the Evening Standard about teaching the future queen in the 1990s, from the time she was 10 or 11 until 13.

"She was absolutely lovely, a really delightful person to teach the piano," he said.

Kate reached grade three on the piano (the highest level is eight).

Nicholls added, "I don't think anyone would say she was going to be a concert pianist, but she was good at it, she always did everything she was told."

The piano teacher composed his own song for the couple ahead of their 2011 wedding, sending them a recording as a present.

According to Classic FM, Kate also studied singing and the flute, achieving a grade five for both singing and music theory. And in a video floating around the internet, Kate reveals her singing talents during a school production of My Fair Lady.

As leading lady Eliza Doolittle, an 11-year-old Kate sang "Wouldn't It Be Loverly?"

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If Kate was nervous about her holiday performance, she didn't show it — and according to Walker, she "absolutely smashed" it.

"It's not easy to just jump behind a piano with a bunch of musicians you've never played with before and record live takes to camera, but she completely nailed it," the singer said.

Added Walker, "She's such a lovely, kind and warm-hearted person and she took the time to thank everyone personally for the opportunity to play together. It was a crazy pinch-yourself kind of day for me, to be in such a beautiful venue playing alongside the Duchess with my band and a string quartet. I certainly won't forget that in a hurry!"

Prince Harry
Princess Diana with Prince William and Prince Harry. Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

Kate isn't the only member of the royal family with musical talent. Queen Elizabeth grew up playing piano, and Princess Diana also could play piano tunes.

Prince Charles studied several instruments, but the cello earned him a seat in the Trinity College Orchestra.

Lady Gabriella Windsor, the daughter of Queen Elizabeth's first cousin, released two songs in 2020 in an effort to raise funds and awareness for the Playing For Change Foundation. She actually sang one track for the first time at her own wedding reception in May 2019!

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