No royal audience at the Royal Variety Performance this year

Members of the Royal Family will not be attending The Royal Variety Performance this year, due to the coronavirus pandemic – breaking a 100 year tradition of their presence at the show. Senior members of the Royal Family make an appearance yearly, but this is set to become the first year since 1912 where royal guests will not be present.

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The Queen attending the annual event in 2012, the 100th anniversary of the show

It has been announced that the future King, Prince Charles, will provide a special video of thanks during this year’s Royal Variety Performance instead.

The annual show is one of the most high-profile events in the entertainment industry. 2020’s performance is set to feature a virtual audience and will be hosted by Jason Manford at the Blackpool Opera House on 29 November. This marks the first time the Royal Variety Performance has visited Blackpool since 2009.

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The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall attend the Royal Variety Performance at the Hammersmith in 2016

Giles Cooper, chairman of the Royal Variety Charity, said: “The Royal Variety Charity is thrilled that the Royal Variety Performance will be held in Blackpool this year.

“We have worked relentlessly to ensure that we can produce a Royal Variety Performance in some shape or form to raise much–needed funds at this critical time.

“We are honoured that His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales has recorded a message of support for our charity, which continues to assist those from the world of entertainment, both young and old, since our formation in 1908.

“The Royal Variety Charity is proud to have been of assistance to those working in the industry during this particularly difficult year.”

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George VI and Queen Elizabeth standing in the royal box at London’s Coliseum, during the 1938 Royal Variety Performance

The Royal Variety Charity is dedicated to giving support to those who have professionally worked in the entertainment industry and now find themselves sick, impoverished or elderly. It is believed the charity is one of the only charities in the UK which has an unbroken line of patronage from the reigning monarch since George V.

Last year, the event was attended by The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who enjoyed a rare “date night” according to hosts Romesh Ranganathan and Rob Beckett. The couple also attended in 2017, while The Queen’s last time was in 2012.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attend the Royal Variety Performance at the Palladium Theatre in 2019.

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