Below, the Duke and Duchess as they were welcomed.
Here is a video as the couple is greeted inside the London Palladium.
The Duke of Cambridge is presented with our 2019 programme & The Duchess of Cambridge receiving our winter garden posy of flowers including foliage from Brinsworth House garden, the care home supported by the Royal Variety Charity @KensingtonRoyal #Variety4Charity pic.twitter.com/bQmTXYGmjY
— Royal Variety (@RoyalVariety) November 18, 2019
Kate’s posy is called ‘Frosty Winter Garden’ and as noted in the tweet above, it included flowers & foliage that were picked at Brinsworth House, the retirement and nursing home supported by the Royal Variety Charity.
Below, the bouquet as shown at Brinsworth House and as Kate carried it this evening.
This is the major fundraising event for the Royal Variety Charity (which you may have seen referred to as the EABF, Entertainment Artistes’ Benevolent Fund, in previous years), an organization helping entertainment industry professionals in need of support through old age or hard times. HM is the charity’s patron; here you see photos of her with the Duke of Edinburgh and comedian Arthur Askey at the 1955 performance in Blackpool.
The show is taped for broadcast in December on ITV. It has been staged since 1912 and is now watched by over 152 million TV viewers worldwide, making it the most successful and longest-running entertainment show in the world, per the Royal Variety site.
More on how the event started from this Daily Mail story:
It dates back to 1912 when King George V and Queen Mary – William’s great-great grandparents – agreed to attend a Royal Command Performance at the Palace Theatre in London.
A second royal show was performed in July 1919 and billed as a celebration of post-war 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’.
The performance was hosted by comedians Rob Beckett and Romesh Ranganathan, who joked that Kate and William were having a date night. More from Rebecca English’s Daily Mail story:
The comic pair introduced the royal couple and joked that they were on a ‘date night’ as the camera focused on them laughing and giggling in the Royal Box – William nodding with mock seriousness.
The comedians asked whether they had paid the babysitter to stay ‘until 12 or 1’ – joking: ‘It’s always worth £20 for the extra hour.’
Ranganathan said he, like the Cambridges, had three children and guessed that William and Kate thought the same thing when they saw their three little faces running into their bedroom each morning: ‘Why did we do this?’ The royal couple roared.
The Palace shared a great photo on Instagram.
Performers included Robbie Williams, Harry Connick Jr, Jamie Cullum, and many others. Below the couple with Laurie Mansfield (l), Lifetime President and Executive Producer, along with Giles Cooper (r), chairman of the charity.
Below, the Duchess speaking with cast members of the new Mary Poppins musical. Pop music great Petula Clark is seen on the far right.
More from Rebecca English’s Daily Mail piece.
‘I love Mary Poppins!’ William exclaimed. Petula Clark told Kate she would have to bring the children to the show, to which she replied: ‘They would love it.’
As she chatted with Ms Clark the Duchess said her children had been really excited about where she and William were going – particularly the dancing and singing – and asked if they could come, but she had to tell them: ‘Not on a school night!’
Rebecca tweeted a video of Kate meeting the cast.
— Rebecca English (@RE_DailyMail) November 18, 2019
The royals spent time with performers after the show concluded. I believe these children are also from the Mary Poppins cast.
The Duke with Robbie Williams (c) and co-host Romesh Ranganathan (I *think*).
Here you see him with Rob Beckett, the other host.
The Duchess speaking with other performers.
A quick video of the couple onstage.
Now for our look at what Kate wore for this year’s Royal Variety Performance.
She was in an evening gown by Alexander McQueen with a black lace overlay in a floral pattern atop a nude underskirt. The fitted bodice and waist are defined by a band of velvet trim, and the back has a deep scoop; the sleeves are sheer. There is a full skirt; you can see how it moves in this video from Emily Nash of Hello!
The Duke and Duchess arrive at the Royal Variety Performance at the @LondonPalladium. The annual event raises funds for @RoyalVariety and has been a fixture in the royal calendar for the best part of a century: pic.twitter.com/DoJl8dZMy3
— Emily Nash (@emynash) November 18, 2019
Here is a closer look at the lace and other details.
The shoulders are puffed and there is some sort of trim or embellishment at the seam. On the left below, a closeup of the shoulder seams of an Alexander McQueen dress; Kate’s shoulders are shown in the center and on the right.
These images better show the full skirts of both dresses.
Thoughts on the look from The Telegraph’s Tamara Abraham.
Lace is timeless, but the pattern also creates a sense of drama and helps her stand out.
Kate, no stranger to complex dress codes and royal protocol understands that it’s her job to be identifiable – lace helps her do that while sticking to black tie. It’s likely a tactic learned from the Queen, who is said to always wear bright hues so that she can be easily spotted by the crowds who gather to see her.
This is the first time we have seen the Duchess wear McQueen at this event. For 2014’s performance, she opted for the Zarita lace evening gown by Diane von Furstenberg. We saw an icy blue Jenny Packham gown with illusion tulle covered in sequins and crystals at the 2017 performance.
The Duchess brought back her Jimmy Choo Celeste velvet clutch. It measures roughly 8″ x 4″ x 2″ and comes with a chain strap so it can be carried as a clutch or worn over the shoulder. (The bag we show is crushed velvet, not a standard velvet finish like Kate’s bag.)
The Duchess wore the Erdem earrings we first saw at an October 2018 event at V&A.
The ‘Floral Hoop Drop style’ ($1220) is from the 2018 fall collection. The design features a crystal-embellished hoop with a floral shape brass smoked topaz with crystal and pearl ‘petals.’
Here is a look at Kate as she left the event this evening.
The Royal Family Channel has about 3:15 of coverage in this video.
- Learn more about the history of the Royal Variety Performance here, see an incredible list of performers over the years by clicking here; the Facebook page is here, and Twitter feed here
- The Daily Mail’s coverage by Rebecca English is here; The Mirror’s piece is here; the Metro article is here;
- a PopSugar gallery is here; Hello’s story and gallery may be seen here; Erin Hill’s People piece is here; the Fug Girls post is here