Artist Who Created Kate Middleton's Christmas Concert Invitation Reveals Special Palace Request

Catherine, Princess of Wales and Prince William, Prince of Wales arrive at "The Street" community hub
Catherine, Princess of Wales and Prince William, Prince of Wales arrive at "The Street" community hub

Kate, Princess of Wales

Kate Middleton is helping an emerging artist who created her social media invitation to the Princess of Wales's upcoming holiday concert.

The festive illustration of Westminster Abbey was shared by Kate on her official Twitter and Instagram accounts over the weekend in anticipation of her second annual Christmas carol service on Dec. 15.

"The commission was to illustrate the Abbey — I didn't know what it was for at the beginning," Aurélie Baudry Palmer tells PEOPLE of the stunning artwork.

Palace staffers had seen some of Baudry Palmer's illustrations of prominent buildings before and she was requested to show something that reflected a Christmas scene at the Abbey.

"I was really happy to be asked because I love drawing architecture. I always like to add some characters to bring life and fun to it," she says.

Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey

Aurelie Baudry Palmer's image of Westminster Abbey

"I have drawn a lot of landmarks in London but hadn't done the Abbey yet. So when they asked I thought, 'I've always wanted to draw this.' It was perfect," she says.

The invite also features a poignant nod to the late Queen Elizabeth with the addition of two corgis. Baudry Palmer says the inclusion of the Queen's favorite pups was a royal request.

"The corgis were an addition at the end after some feedback. When they saw the final drawing they suggested I add them," she says.

The holiday event is set to take place on Dec. 15, bringing together members of the royal family with charity staff, community volunteers, frontline workers, military personnel and more to "celebrate the joy that human connection can bring," Kensington Palace announced last week.

The Princess has made it one of her themes during her public life of the last decade to highlight and support artists, via her patronages. Her support for art therapy and how it can help with mental well-being is also a bedrock of some of her work.

"It is absolutely fabulous to be able to spotlight artists and small businesses and arts and crafts. It is such an endorsement and all the artists who can benefit from such support are grateful," the artist adds. "It is very encouraging for all the people who want to pursue the arts to see that their work is valued is important."

kate middleton
kate middleton

Samir Hussein/WireImage Kate Middleton and Prince William

Baudry Palmer says her creative process began after she was sent some photos to choose from. She then came up with a rough sketch to show the composition and was requested to film the process. Kate and Prince William's social media team did the rest to create the fun mini-movie.

The result was the Instagram post that ran on the Prince and Princess of Wales's social media sites.

"It was lovely to see it all come together," Baudry Palmer says. "It was really smooth and a fast turnaround from the initial call to the delivery. It took me about three days, including the feedback."

Baudry Palmer's drawing started as a hobby, she shared, and she only set up her business four years ago.

"I learned the watercolors technique, but the rest is pretty much self-taught and stems from passion," she says.

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The artist, who is from Cognac in France, lives in London with her spouse, who is an entrepreneur who runs restaurants and bars in Covent Garden. After working at the British Museum, she took the step to turn her illustration hobby into a business and set up her studio four years ago.

Initially focusing on house portraits and wedding gift illustrations for clients in the U.K. and America, she then branched into working for schools and stationery brands. Next month, she is partnering with the baby and bath brand Timo & Violet to create "whimsical" and timeless products inspired by nature and using sustainable materials.

Kate Middleton
Kate Middleton

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge/Instagram Kate Middleton

Last year, Princess Kate showed off her piano skills when she took part in a surprise element in her carol concert, which was broadcast on ITV in the U.K. The broadcaster will be airing the event again this year.

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In a touching tribute, this year's Christmas concert will also honor the late Queen Elizabeth II, who died in September at age 96. The service will showcase the values she upheld through her remarkable life and reign, like empathy, compassion, and support for others.

"These principles are shared and personified by the inspirational guests who have been invited to the Abbey from across the U.K. in recognition of their tireless efforts to help and care for those around them," the palace said.