Meghan Markle Hits the Red Carpet in a Sequins Top for Royal Variety Performance with Harry
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are stepping out for a star-studded date night
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex attended the Royal Variety Performance at The London Palladium on Monday, an annual televised event that aids the Royal Variety Charity to benefit hundreds of UK entertainers in need of help and assistance as a result of old age, ill-health or hard times.
Meghan wore an outfit by Safiyaa, featuring black sequins with a leaf pattern adorning the halter top that showed off a glimpse of her growing baby bump, for her first appearance at the Royal Variety Performance. She pulled her hair back into an elegant updo that highlighted her dazzling Birks Snowstorm Earrings, which she has previously worn on several occasions, including her solo outing in September to see the Royal Academy of Art in London Piccadilly’s “Oceania” exhibit.
Harry, who looked dapper in a classic tuxedo and black bow tie, first attended the star-studded event — which has previously featured performances by Lady Gaga, The Beatles and Elton John — in 2015 at the Royal Albert Hall.
- Can’t get enough of PEOPLE’s Royals coverage? Sign up for our newsletter to get the latest updates on Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and more!
Before heading inside, Meghan accepted a gift from Jo Wiggins and her daughter, Lucy Robertson, a children’s book titled Peepo! by Janet and Allan Ahlberg as well as a teddy bear that was decorated with what Wiggins called a “gender neutral” yellow ribbon.
“I said congratulations and she thanked us,” says Wiggins, from Watford, just north of London. “She’s beautiful and has a lovely little bump.”
The Duchess of Sussex then briefly took Harry’s hand as they headed towards the entrance.
The mother-to-be bent down to accept a bouquet of flowers from Darcie-Rae Moyse, 7, dressed in a pink dress and sporting a tiara, inside the London Palladium.
This year, the show was hosted by Greg Davies and included performances from Take That, George Ezra, Clean Bandit, the cast of Tina, The Tina Turner Musical and Andrea and Matteo Bocelli.
Meghan and Harry will also be entertained by the cast of Hamilton, just three months after the royal couple attended a gala performance of the West End musical with show creator Lin-Manuel Miranda to raise funds for one of Harry’s longtime charities, Sentebale. Meghan even incorporated a throwback to the special performance in her outfit on Monday, opting for the same clutch!
The royal parents-to-be met a number of performers both before and after the show.
The Hamilton cast members congratulated Meghan on her pregnancy — and she smiled and thanked them.
Harry greeted the boy band Take That members like old friends — and that might because they are.
Lead singerGary Barlow told the Duchess, “Ask your husband about playing the tambourine of one of our records!”
Barlow later told reporters that the prince had played percussion on “Sing,” his Commonwealth record commemorating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
The couple took their seats in the Royal Box, smiling as Davies welcomed them to their first Royal Variety performance as a couple. He also said the entire audience would like to congratulate them on their “wonderful news.”
“As I believe they say in Royal circles, one is thrilled that two will become three!” he said.
Simon Cowell arrived on stage to introduce the winner of Britain’s Got Talent, Lost Voice Guy, but was forced to wing it when he wasn’t able to read the teleprompter.
Afterwards, Davies introduced the performance of Sheku Kanneh-Mason, the talented young cellist who performed at Meghan and Harry’s wedding.
The origins of the Royal Variety Performance date back to 1912, when King George V and Queen Mary agreed to attend a “Royal Command Performance” at the Palace Theatre in London in aid of the Variety Artistes’ Benevolent Fund. In July 1919, the second Royal show was performed and was the first to be billed a “Royal Variety Performance.”
Held at London’s Coliseum, the show was staged as a “celebration of peace” and, as the official announcement expressed, “had been commanded by The King to show his appreciation of the generous manner in which artistes of the variety stage had helped the numerous funds connected with the War.”