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The show must go on: Kate Middleton and Prince William take centre stage at Royal Variety performance

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Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, wave as they arrive at the Royal Variety Performance in London, Britain November 18, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, wave as they arrive at the Royal Variety Performance in London, Britain November 18, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (2nd L) and Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (2nd R) arrive to attend the Royal Variety Performance at the Palladium Theatre in central London on November 18, 2019. (Photo by Geoff Pugh / POOL / AFP)

Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (2nd L) and Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (2nd R) arrive to attend the Royal Variety Performance at the Palladium Theatre in central London on November 18, 2019. (Photo by Geoff Pugh / POOL / AFP)

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attend the Royal Variety Performance at the Palladium Theatre on November 18, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images)

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attend the Royal Variety Performance at the Palladium Theatre on November 18, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images)

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends the Royal Variety Performance with Prince William, Duke of Cambridge at the Palladium Theatre on November 18, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images)

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends the Royal Variety Performance with Prince William, Duke of Cambridge at the Palladium Theatre on November 18, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images)

November 2014: Her black lace Diane Von Furstenberg gown was absolutely perfect.

November 2014: Her black lace Diane Von Furstenberg gown was absolutely perfect.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex met performers on stage at the Royal Variety Performance last year (PA)

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex met performers on stage at the Royal Variety Performance last year (PA)

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Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, wave as they arrive at the Royal Variety Performance in London, Britain November 18, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

Kate Middleton and Prince William proved a welcome distraction from the mess that is the royal PR machine with a show-stopping appearance at the Royal Variety Performance in London.

Britain's Duke and Duchess of Cambridge made a highly anticipated, appearance on Monday night to celebrate some of the UK's best performers, two days after Prince Andrew's car crash interview with the BBC. Although their attendance was scheduled, this year, the expectations of distraction were higher than ever and Kate in particular, delivered on that front.

The 37-year-old debuted a new gown, a semi-sheer lace with nude underlay effect by her most trusted label Alexander McQueen. It was a marked departure from her usual black tie attire and an experiment that paid off as it allowed the British royal family to dominate positive headlines this morning in contrast to the damning analyses of Andrew's sit-down with veteran journalist Emily Maitlis, which aired on Saturday night.

The Royal Variety Performance has been running at the London Palladium for the last 30 years and while Queen Elizabeth is patron, it is one of the many high profile gigs that she has given to the younger generation to make their own distinguishable mark in her older age. Now in its 107th year, Romesh Ranganathan joked that it had taken the event more than a century to "brown it up", as he became the first person from a South Asian background to co-host the show.

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Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends the Royal Variety Performance with Prince William, Duke of Cambridge at the Palladium Theatre on November 18, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images)

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends the Royal Variety Performance with Prince William, Duke of Cambridge at the Palladium Theatre on November 18, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images)

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends the Royal Variety Performance with Prince William, Duke of Cambridge at the Palladium Theatre on November 18, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images)

The comedian hosted the annual event alongside his long-standing friend Rob Beckett, making the pair the first comedic two-hander at the helm in over 30 years, since Ronnie Corbett and Bruce Forsyth in 1988.

Beckett kicked off the evening by hailing the event's "107 years of history".

But Ranganathan added: "And it's taken them 106 of these until they decided to brown it up.

"And then they diluted it by making me host it with the whitest person on TV. It's unbelievable."

He added: "We are not a double act. When your nan watches it she will think you hosted it with your Uber driver."

Both took aim at William and Kate in well-hearted jokes, with Beckett introducing them:  "Your Royal Highnesses, thank you for coming out tonight. Date night? That's exciting, isn't it? It's hard to get out, isn't it? Have you got the babysitter until midnight or one? It's worth the extra 20 quid until late."

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Ranganathan quipped of the couple: "I might know how it feels. Like me, you have been blessed with three kids.

"I imagine every morning when they come running into your bedroom you look at their beautiful faces and you think: 'I regret this.'"

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November 2014: Her black lace Diane Von Furstenberg gown was absolutely perfect.

November 2014: Her black lace Diane Von Furstenberg gown was absolutely perfect.

November 2014: Her black lace Diane Von Furstenberg gown was absolutely perfect.

The annual event allows a specific mark to chart Kate's fashion evolution. For her first performance in 2014, three years after marrying Prince William, she opted for a more conservative off the shoulder number and over the years, she has chosen safer styles on the red carpet. Last night marks the latest in a strong of style victories of 2019, reflecting her confidence in her role and herself.

Most recently, her grandmother-in-law was reported to be impressed by her "keep calm and carry on" attitude, referring to her as "unflappable", according to sources in Vanity Fair.

Additional reporting by Press Association


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