The Prince of Wales delivered his address at the start of Tuesday night’s show to thank the “talented” performers for their dedication. Singer and comedian Jason Manford hosted this year’s variety show which took place at the Blackpool Opera House in the Winter Gardens Complex.
Due to coronavirus restrictions, the performance featured a virtual audience for the first time in the show’s history.
During the video message played at the start of the show on ITV, Prince Charles said: “Ladies and Gentlemen. The Royal Variety Performance is the world’s longest running entertainment show and a unique British tradition stretching back more than one hundred years.”
The Prince of Wales looked back at the first Royal Variety Performance in 1912 which was attended by his great-grandfather King George V and great-grandmother Queen Mary.
The show was in aid of the Royal Variety Charity which raises money to help struggling theatre workers and entertainers who had “fallen on hard times”.
Prince Charles reflected on how that “mission” is more relevant than event this year during the pandemic which has hugely impacted the live entertainment industry.
He said: “Today, that mission could hardly be more relevant, as this year’s show will provide vital support for workers who have been affected by these extraordinarily challenging times.”
The prince added: “On behalf of the Patron of the Royal Variety Performance, Her Majesty the Queen, I can only send the most special and heartfelt thanks to all of tonight’s incredibly talented performers who have come together in the splendid surroundings of the Blackpool Opera House to entertain, to inspire and, above all, to help those in need.
“And while, very sadly, we may not be able to gather as we usually would, I am delighted that, despite all adversity, the determination and dedication of everyone involved means that the show really can go on.”
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Singer Gary Barlow also gave an exclusive solo appearance during the show.
In the star studded variety show, presenter Mr Manford said: “After appearing at the Royal Variety Performance three times since 2009, it is an honour and a privilege to be hosting the show this year.
“It’s been a hugely difficult year for everybody, so I hope that for a couple of hours on a cold Winter’s night in Blackpool, we can take people’s minds off things and do what us Brits do best; have a laugh.”
The evening saw entertainer Sheridan Smith give a spectacular performance as Cilla from the show Cilla The Musical.
Performer Samantha Barks also gave an exclusive performance from Frozen the Musical.
The variety show came after a long-awaited Royal Family reunion that took place on Tuesday.
The Queen, Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Cambridges, the Earl and Countess of Wessex and the Princess Royal all came together at Windsor Castle to thank local volunteers and key workers.
The socially distanced event saw the royals listen to festive carols performed by The Salvation Army Band.
Her Majesty wore a very festive red hat paired with a matching coat for the seasonal occasion.
The reunion came as Kate Middleton and Prince William concluded their Christmas royal train tour.