Royals Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex Make Glam Appearance on Behalf of Royal Family For the first time, Prince Edward and Sophie attended the Royal Variety Performance as the evening's guests of honor By Stephanie Petit Stephanie Petit Stephanie Petit is a Royals Writer and Reporter at PEOPLE. People Editorial Guidelines Published on December 1, 2022 08:05 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Trending Videos Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex. Photo: David Parry - WPA Pool/Getty It's a glittering night out for Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex! The couple attended the Royal Variety Performance at London's Royal Albert Hall on Thursday evening, representing the royal family as the evening's guests of honor. The annual performance supports the Royal Variety Charity, of which the late Queen Elizabeth served as patron. The money raised helps hundreds of entertainers throughout the U.K. who need help and assistance as a result of old age, poor health or hard times. This year's star-studded lineup included George Ezra, Becky Hill, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Rita Wilson, Cirque du Soleil, Giffords Circus, the London Youth Choir and many more. Ellie Goulding also performed at the event — the singer is also slated to travel to Boston for the Earthshot Prize Awards ceremony on Friday, which Prince William and Kate Middleton will attend as the highlight of their three-day U.S. visit. Princess Anne and Prince Edward Tapped for Royal Roles — How It Affects Prince Harry and Prince Andrew Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex. Jonathan Hordle/ITV/Shutterstock King Charles III, Prince William, Kate, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have all previously attended the glittering night out on behalf of the royal family. The Prince and Princess of Wales, both 40, went to the Royal Variety Performance last year, following a pandemic-restricted event in 2020. Last year's performance marked a centenary of royal patronage for the Royal Variety Charity. The organization has been supported by the British monarch since King George V in 1921 and is believed to be "the only charity to exist in the U.K. with such a long, unbroken line of patronage from the reigning monarch," per philanthropy history. According to the organization, it was King George V's wish that a member of the royal family would always attend the annual performance "to demonstrate the royal family's love and support for the entertainment industry and its associated charity." Can't get enough of PEOPLE's Royals coverage? Sign up for our free Royals newsletter to get the latest updates on Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and more! Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex. Matt Crossick/ITV/Shutterstock Sophie and Prince Edward's attendance as this year's royal guests comes after King Charles launched the process of having Prince Edward and Princess Anne become Counsellors of State. These royal representatives can stand in for the monarch in official duties if he is abroad or unwell. The petition signals that the King imagines an elevated role for siblings Prince Edward and Princess Anne, 72. The update comes as current Counsellors of State Prince Harry and Prince Andrew cannot be called upon, as they are no longer working members of the royal family.