The Earl and Countess of Wessex led a starry line-up at London’s Royal Albert Hall last week for the Royal Variety Performance. With performances from stars including Ellie Goulding, Becky Hill and Rita Wilson – whose duet with Gregory Porter was dedicated to Fleetwood Mac’s Christine McVie, who had died the previous day – this year’s event had added poignancy. The event also remembered the “magical Queen”, Elizabeth II, who first attended the event in 1945 with her father George VI and was the Royal Variety Charity’s patron for 70 years.
Representing the royal family, the Wessexes were delighted to be met on their arrival by former BBC photographer Joan Williams – a resident of the charity’s Brinsworth House care home – who showed them some of her pictures she’d taken of the royal family inside Buckingham Palace, including one of a young Prince Edward.
Sophie and Edward took their places inside the royal box and were enthralled by a dazzling range of talent from singers to circus acts and comedians including Britain’s Got Talent winner Axel Blake. Money raised on the evening and through the charity’s activities helps UK entertainers who need support as a result of old age, poor health or hard times.