The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Catherine, attended the annual Royal Variety Performance at the Royal Albert Hall. Held every year in November to raise money for the Royal Variety Charity, the event is a winter staple in the Royal calendar and each year a member of the Royal Family attends the performance. The Royal Variety Charity is the organizer and beneficiary of the annual Royal Variety Performance.
This year the Royal Variety is marking its 100 years of Royal patronage. King George V became the first Patron in 1921 declaring that ‘The Monarch or a senior member of the Royal family would attend an annual fundraising event in aid of Brinsworth House and the Royal Variety Charity‘.
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 and its proposed plans to build an extension to its Care Home for elderly entertainers, Brinsworth House. This first staging was a lavish occasion with over 3 million roses draped around the auditorium. 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 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”.
Ahead of the event, The charity tweeted,
We’d like to sincerely thank all members of the Royal family for their steadfast and continued support of the entertainment industry, over the past century
The Royal Variety was established in 1908 and its patronage is held by Her Majesty the Queen. The event is hosted in aid of the Royal Variety Charity, formerly the Entertainment Artistes’ Benevolent Fund of which the Queen is the patron. The Queen has attended the performance 39 times during her reign.
The Royal Variety Charity assists those who’ve worked professionally in the entertainment industry and need help. The charity strives to support all those, both young and old, who’ve worked on the stage, in the wings, in front of a camera, or behind it, as well as all those who have spent their lives working in the numerous support industries dedicated to entertainment. The show is organized every year to help entertainers throughout the UK who are facing hard times and need help and assistance as a result of old age, ill-health, or hard times. From RVP,
It’s a little-known fact that thousands of people who work in the entertainment industry face desperate problems each day. Only the top 4% (* 2015 UK survey / AC Nielson) of those who work in the entertainment industry are ‘above-average UK earners’. The vast majority live from ‘job-to-job‘, from ‘season-to-season’ – many spending long periods with no work at all & with little ability to make any plans for their futures, or providing themselves with any security should they have an accident, or fall ill.
It’s so ironic that many entertainers and those working behind the scenes in entertainment spend much of their working lives raising funds for other people’s charities, but giving little thought to their own future, security, or situation. Whether it be as a result of old age, ill-health or financial hardship, the Royal Variety Charity is here to help.
The entertainment industry has suffered more than most during this horrible pandemic and your support for the Royal Variety Charity is therefore more important now that it ever has been. Before Covid-19, it was only the top 4.8% of those working in the industry that earnt above the average UK wage, but since March 2020, not only has this industry suffered a crisis like everyone else, but in parts suffered complete annihilation. Theatres and music venues have been closed for the best part of 16 months, festivals and outdoor concerts were abandoned and tens of thousands of people working in all parts of the industry, mostly on a freelance ‘job-to-job’ basis, have been left to fend for themselves with little or no support from the Government – not qualifying for furlough, or any other scheme that has been offered.
Now viewed by over 152 million television viewers worldwide, the Royal Variety performance is the most successful and longest-running entertainment show in the world.
The Charity owns and manages its own residential and nursing care home for elderly entertainers, Brinsworth House in Twickenham, and also offers a nationwide grant scheme to assist those living in their own homes wherever they reside in the UK. Plans to improve Brinsworth House are currently underway with a fundraising campaign.
The venue of the performance this year also comes with an interesting coincidence – 2021 is the 150th anniversary of the Royal Albert Hall. The Prince of Wales declared the Hall officially open on behalf of his mother, Queen Victoria, on March 29 in 1871, who was present but too overcome with emotion to speak as she was reminded of her late husband, Prince Albert. Since then The hall has hosted a great many events in the history of the Nation. Annual Festival of Remembrance is one of them.
This was William and Catherine’s 4th joint appearance at the Royal Variety. William and Catherine attended the event for the first first time in 2014 when they were expecting Princess Charlotte.
The event was hosted by Alan Carr and performances included Cast of Moulin Rogue, James Blunt, Anne-Marie, Bill Bailey, Years & Years, Messoudi Brothers, Elvis Costello, Cast of Matilda, Gregory Porter, Chris, McCausland, Keale Settle, Cirque Du Soleil, Judi Love, Josh Widdicombe, Sir Rod Stewart, Ed Sheeran.
Upon arrival, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were presented with the 2021 show programme and the winter posy ‘A golden age of Christmas at Brinsworth House’ with foliage from the garden of the Royal Variety Charity care home.
The Royal couple took seats in the Royal Box and the night began with the National Anthem.
— 【 ᴇʟɪsᴀᴠᴇᴛ 】 (@cambridgeroyall) November 18, 2021
Joining William and Catherine tonight were Michael and Carole Middleton with James and his wife Alizée.
After the performance, The Duke and Duchess went backstage to meet the performers.
About the event, Kensington Palace said, “In 2021, the Royal Variety Charity has continued to support members of the entertainment industry with its own nationwide grants scheme, assisting many people who have found this past year a particularly difficult one. The Royal Variety Charity also continues to manage its own care home, Brinsworth House in Twickenham. The nursing and care staff have ensured that the home remains a place of safety, peace, and happiness for retired members of the entertainment industry. The residents are now back showing off their own theatrical skills and even producing and performing their own stage shows.”
A video of the day.
For this year’s performance, The Duchess of Cambridge chose to bring back a stunning number from her wardrobe. The Duchess was wearing her green Jenny Packham Tenille embellished satin gown that we first saw in October 2019 during a Pakistan visit at the reception held at the National Monument.
In September 2020, Jenny Packham officially released the same gown. It was called Tenille embellished satin gown. Made from forest-green satin, the $4665 gown is drenched in shimmery sequins and has strategically placed crystals at the bodice, nipped-in waist and cuffs. The internal shoulder pads add structure and a floor-sweeping train moves so beautifully.
Catherine paired the outfit with her Missoma Gold Zenyu Chandelier Hoops also debuted in Pakistan during a visit to Hindu Kush region in October 2019.
The Duchess was wearing her green Emmy London Green Suede Rebecca Pumps.
— Gabi 🙂 (@GabiK_blogoKate) November 18, 2021
Catherine was carrying a green box clutch with a gold clasp. That still remains unidentified. Gabi on Twitter suggested that new green clutch is also a Packham piece. It could be as the design matches with the gown
The highlight of the stunning look was the gorgeous curls. I will leave you with this gorgeous pictures Royal Photographer Samir Hussain clicked during the arrival.
— Samir Hussein (@samhussein) November 18, 2021