The royal parents, who are expecting their third child in April, left Prince George and Princess Charlotte at their Kensington Palace home and stepped out to see the annual Royal Variety Performance at the Palladium Theatre in London. Kate wore a baby blue embellished Jenny Packham gown while William went for a classic tuxedo.
Louis Tomlinson and The Killers were among the entertainers at the event, which was hosted by comedian and actor Miranda Hart.
The performance — and Will and Kate’s appearance — went on as planned after a scare caused a mass panic at nearby Oxford Circus station. According to the Metropolitan Police, officers responded to numerous emergency calls on Friday evening claiming that shots had been fired. After a swift response and evacuation, the police said they found not evidence of shots fired or casualties. The area was reopened shortly afterwards.
At the actual performance, Kate was left in giggles as William was forced to join in the show’s audience participation. William had gamely taken part in a comedy skit from host Miranda Hart, obligingly shouting her catch-phrase “such fun” on request.
Hart, who said compelling William to participate was on her to-do list for the Royal Variety duties, said she later hoped to see his galloping — another one of her trademarks — and “knighting me with a lightsaber.”
While the Prince performed his part enthusiastically, Kate burst out laughing as the spotlight fell on them.
The event is in support of the Royal Variety Charity, of which Queen Elizabeth is a patron. The money raised from the show helps hundreds of entertainers throughout the U.K. who need assistance as a result of old age, ill-health or hard times.
The royal couple met with some of the performers, as well as Royal Variety Charity and executives from British TV station ITV, which is broadcasting the show.
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The Royal Variety Performance began in 1912 when King George V and Queen Mary agreed to attend a Royal Command Performance at the Palace Theatre in London, in support of the Variety Artistes’ Benevolent Fund.
It was five years later, in July 1919, that the second show was performed and was the first to be billed a “Royal Variety Performance.”
Held at the time at London’s Coliseum, the show was staged as a “celebration of peace” and, as the official announcement expressed it, “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.”