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Awkward: Exes Ed Sheeran and Ellie Goulding to entertain Kate Middleton and Prince William at gala

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Kate and William

Kate and William

Ellie Goulding will play for Prince William and Kate Middleton at the royal wedding reception

Ellie Goulding will play for Prince William and Kate Middleton at the royal wedding reception

Ellie Goulding is among the line-up for this year's Royal Variety Performance

Ellie Goulding is among the line-up for this year's Royal Variety Performance

Kate Middleton in London

Kate Middleton in London

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge attend the ceremonial welcome for Singapore's President Tony Tan Keng Yam at the start of a state visit at Horse Guards Parade

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge attend the ceremonial welcome for Singapore's President Tony Tan Keng Yam at the start of a state visit at Horse Guards Parade

The Duchess of Cambridge with museum director Michael Dixon at the Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2014 Awards Ceremony at the Natural History Museum in London. Photo: Stefan Wermuth/PA Wire

The Duchess of Cambridge with museum director Michael Dixon at the Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2014 Awards Ceremony at the Natural History Museum in London. Photo: Stefan Wermuth/PA Wire

Kate Middleton whose baby is due in April.

Kate Middleton whose baby is due in April.

Kate Middleton

Kate Middleton

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Kate and William

Ed Sheeran and Ellie Goulding are among the stars who will entertain the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at their very first Royal Variety Performance.

William and Kate are attending the event for the first time and will watch an array of artists including Demi Lovato, Dame Shirley Bassey and Bette Midler at the evening gala which will be hosted by Michael McIntyre at the London Palladium on November 13.

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Comedians Jack Whitehall and Sarah Millican are on this year's line-up, along with musical theatre boyband Collabro, who won Britain's Got Talent, and TV presenter Stephen Mulhern.

PHOTOS:

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LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 21:  Patron of The Natural History Museum, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge leaves the Natural History Museum after she attended the Wildlife Photographer of The Year 2014 Awards Ceremony on October 21, 2014 in London, England. Her Royal Highness met the finalists, viewed the exhibition and joined Sir David Attenborough to present awards to the overall winners of the adult and under-18s competitions.  (Photo by Arthur Edwards - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 21: Patron of The Natural History Museum, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge leaves the Natural History Museum after she attended the Wildlife Photographer of The Year 2014 Awards Ceremony on October 21, 2014 in London, England. Her Royal Highness met the finalists, viewed the exhibition and joined Sir David Attenborough to present awards to the overall winners of the adult and under-18s competitions. (Photo by Arthur Edwards - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 21: Patron of The Natural History Museum, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge leaves the Natural History Museum after she attended the Wildlife Photographer of The Year 2014 Awards Ceremony on October 21, 2014 in London, England. Her Royal Highness met the finalists, viewed the exhibition and joined Sir David Attenborough to present awards to the overall winners of the adult and under-18s competitions. (Photo by Arthur Edwards - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Traditionally, the Queen has taken it in turns with the Prince of Wales to attend the show. It had been expected to be the Queen's turn this year.

But William and Kate's attendance is a demonstration of how the younger members of the family are stepping in to help the monarch, who turns 89 next year.

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 Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge holds Prince George as he and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge's look on while visiting the Sensational Butterflies exhibition at the Natural History Museum on July 2, 2014 in London, England.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge holds Prince George as he and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge's look on while visiting the Sensational Butterflies exhibition at the Natural History Museum on July 2, 2014 in London, England.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge holds Prince George as he and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge's look on while visiting the Sensational Butterflies exhibition at the Natural History Museum on July 2, 2014 in London, England.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: "The Duke and Duchess are delighted to attend the forthcoming Royal Variety Performance.

"Members of the Royal Family will continue to support the gala evenings. As with any other invitation, attendance by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will be assessed on a case-by-case basis."

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Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge attend the ceremonial welcome for Singapore's President Tony Tan Keng Yam at the start of a state visit at Horse Guards Parade

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge attend the ceremonial welcome for Singapore's President Tony Tan Keng Yam at the start of a state visit at Horse Guards Parade

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge attend the ceremonial welcome for Singapore's President Tony Tan Keng Yam at the start of a state visit at Horse Guards Parade

The event is held in aid of the Entertainment Artistes' Benevolent Fund, of which the Queen is patron.

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The Royal Variety Performance dates 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 and its proposed plans to build an extension to its Brinsworth House home for elderly entertainers.

In July 1919, a second royal show was performed and billed as a post-war celebration of peace.

It became an annual event at the suggestion of George V in 1921, when the King decreed that "the monarch, or a representative of the monarch, would attend an annual performance in aid of Brinsworth House and the Variety Artistes' Benevolent Fund, once a year thereafter".

Acts in recent years have included Lady Gaga and chart topping boy band One Direction. Last year, Dame Edna Everage surprised Charles and Camilla by joining them in the royal box.

In 2007, the late comedian Joan Rivers swore 13 times in seven minutes at the 79th Royal Variety Performance which was attended by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.

TV comedian Russell Brand once took to the stage to describe himself as "sh***er of the year" and joked about making a play for the Queen's granddaughter Zara Phillips.

The show will be screened on ITV in December.


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