Meghan Markle and Prince Harry arrive for Royal Variety Performance

The Duchess of Sussex attended her first Royal Variety Performance tonight, dazzling in black and white.

Accompanied by her husband, Prince Harry, Meghan, 37, proudly displayed her blossoming baby bump – and her shoulders – in a Safiyaa evening gown as the couple, due to become parents for the first time next spring, arrived at The London Palladium in glamorous style.

The duchess was given a winter posy by seven-year-old Darcie-Rae Moyse before meeting performers, including Take That’s Gary Barlow, Howard Donald and Mark Owen and the cast of hit musical Hamilton. 

Pregnant Meghan dons a striking floral ensemble by London-based designer Safiyaa for the Royal Variety Performance

Pregnant Meghan dons a striking floral ensemble by London-based designer Safiyaa for the Royal Variety Performance

Pregnant Meghan dons a striking floral ensemble by London-based designer Safiyaa for the Royal Variety Performance

The sequinned top skimmed over the duchess' blooming baby bump as she arrived

The sequinned top skimmed over the duchess' blooming baby bump as she arrived

The sequinned top skimmed over the duchess’ blooming baby bump as she arrived

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are the epitome of black tie glamour at the event

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are the epitome of black tie glamour at the event

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are the epitome of black tie glamour at the event

Afterwards they took their places in the Royal Box for the National Anthem which was played by the the state trumpeters of the the band of the Household Cavalry and the Invictus Games Choir.

It was Harry’s second outing to the annual event, which is always attended by a member of the Royal Family, the first being in 2015.

As a former actress and performer herself, LA-born Meghan will no doubt take a keen interest in the proceedings – although it is unlikely she will ever have seen anything like tonight’s show before.

The Royal Variety Performance – a mixture of music, dance, singing and comedy – is held in aid of the Royal Variety Charity (RVC), of which The Queen is Patron.

The money raised from the show helps hundreds of entertainers throughout the UK, who are in need of assistance as a result of old age, ill-health, or hard times.

In particular the charity assists former members of the entertainment industry living in Brinsworth House, a residential home it runs in Twickenham. The Duchess’s posy included foliage from the Brinsworth House garden.

The evening is being hosted by comedian Greg Davies and will include performances from Take That, the cast of Hamilton, George Ezra, Clean Bandit, the cast of ‘Tina, The Tina Turner Musical’, and Andrea and Matteo Bocelli.

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.

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, ‘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’.

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