At the annual Royal Variety Performance event, members of the British royal family typically let their hair down a bit. They’re often seen laughing uproariously at the comedy acts just like the rest of the audience, for example. In fact, sometimes royals are even the butt of the joke – they don’t seem to mind, either! And for the 2017 performance, Prince William certainly seemed quite eager to join in the fun and games.
The Royal Variety Performance itself, however, is actually a tradition that dates back over a century. Indeed, the first event – then known as the Royal Command Performance – took place in 1912 for King George V and Queen Mary; all the profits from the proceedings went to charity, just as they do now. Another performance would take place in 1919; two years later, meanwhile, it was decided that the event should become an annual one.
Then, in 1960, the Royal Variety Performance was first televised; it has remained a staple of British TV to this day. And in the intervening years, many members of the royal family have turned up to watch popular musicians, singers, actors and entertainers showing off their talents on the stage. Among them are Prince William and Kate Middleton, who appeared at the event for the first time in 2014 and were treated to a performance by One Direction.