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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Jennifer Newton

Sophie Wessex given top honour that often falls to Prince William and Kate Middleton

The Countess of Wessex and husband Prince Edward have been given a top honour that often falls to the Prince and Princess of Wales.

It has been confirmed that Sophie and Edward will be the royals attending this year's Royal Variety Performance at the Royal Albert Hall next month.

It will be the first time the royal couple have attended the show as William and Kate were the guests of honour at last year's performance - and have attended on three other occasions.

The news was confirmed by the Royal Variety charity, which tweeted: "We are thrilled that our Royal guests of honour at this year's Royal Variety Performance will be Their Royal Highnesses The Earl and Countess of Wessex and Forfar."

Prince Edward and Sophie Wessex, who will be attending this year's Royal Variety Performance (Getty Images)

The performance will take place on Thursday, December 1 so it appears William and Kate would have been unlikely to attend as they are due in Boston the next day for the second annual Earthshot Prize awards.

Among the performers set for this year's show include Ellie Goulding, George Ezra, Becky Hill and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Earlier this month, it was revealed this year’s Royal Variety Performance is set to be an extra special and will pay tribute to the late Queen.

William and Kate at last year's Royal Variety Performance (Getty Images)

The late monarch, who showed a keen interest in the arts, attended 39 Royal Variety performances throughout her life.

She will be honoured by composer Andrew Lloyd-Webber, singer Gary Barlow and choirmaster Gareth Malone, who will be accompanied by members of the London Youth Choir, to perform a version of Sing.

In addition, Disney’s Broadway musical Newsies will perform an extract from the Tony award-winning show, which opens in London later this month, and Cirque Du Soleil acrobats and performers will take to the stage with a death-defying display from their latest show Kurios.

Grammy Award winner Gregory Porter will perform a duet with Hollywood star Rita Wilson while Frank Skinner, David Baddiel and The Lightning Seeds will do a rendition of their hit Three Lions.

The Queen with singer James Blunt and comedian Russell Brand at the 2007 Royal Variety Performance (PA)

The annual event is staged in aid of the Royal Variety Charity, of which the Queen was patron, and money raised from the show helps those people from the world of entertainment in need of care and assistance.

Since its creation in 1912, the Royal Variety Performance is now watched by over 152 million TV viewers worldwide, making it the most successful and longest-running entertainment show in the world.

The Royal Variety Performance will be screened on ITV and ITV Hub in December.

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