Harry and Meghan to attend Royal Variety Performance

By Laura Elston, Press Association Court Reporter

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are to attend this year’s Royal Variety Performance.

It will be pregnant Meghan’s first outing at the annual star-studded gala as she takes her place in the royal box next to husband Harry.

The couple will watch Take That and the cast of hit musical Hamilton as performers take to the stage of the London Palladium on Monday November 19.

The event is held in aid of the Royal Variety Charity, of which the Queen is patron.

Chart-toppers George Ezra and Rick Astley will also perform, while comedian and Taskmasters star Greg Davies has been confirmed as the host.

Harry attended his first Royal Variety Performance at the Royal Albert Hall in 2015.

Prince Harry on stage after the Royal Variety Performance at the Albert Hall in London in 2015 (PA)

The royal couple will be expected to meet the stars in a red-carpet line-up – with former actress Meghan well used to such appearances.

Comics at the show often take the opportunity to make jokes at the expense of any attending royals – and there is not likely to be any exception for the  duke and duchess.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have recently returned from their overseas tour (Phil Noble/PA)

In 2015, host Jack Whitehall made digs at former partying prince Harry, saying they would turn the venue into a nightclub after the show in his honour.

Whitehall added: “He may only be a prince, but when it comes to banter, all hail the king.”

Harry greets host Jack Whitehall after the Royal Variety Performance in 2015 (PA)

The Royal Variety Performance dates 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 and its proposed plans to build an extension to its Brinsworth House home for elderly entertainers.

A second royal show was performed in July 1919 and billed as a celebration of peace.

It became an annual event at the suggestion of George V in 1921, when the King decreed that “the monarch or a senior member of the royal family, would attend an annual performance, in aid of Brinsworth House and the Royal Variety Charity, once a year thereafter”.

Laurie Mansfield, life-president of the Royal Variety Charity, welcomed the duke and duchess’s support.

“The Royal Variety Charity was so pleased that Prince Harry was able to attend his first Royal Variety Performance back in 2015, and that now in their wedding year, both the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are attending,” he said.

“It will be a very memorable Royal Variety Performance.”

The show helps raise money for entertainers throughout the UK, who are in need of help and assistance as a result of old age, ill-health, or hard times.

It also supports Brinsworth House, the home in Twickenham which is owned and run by the charity.