Prince Edward and Sophie to Represent Royals at Glitzy Event Often Attended by Kate and Prince William

Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and Sophie, Countess of Wessex ride in a carriage during Trooping The Colour, the Queen's annual birthday parade, on June 02, 2022 in London, England.Trooping The Colour, also known as The Queen's Birthday Parade, is a military ceremony performed by regiments of the British Army that has taken place since the mid-17th century. It marks the official birthday of the British Sovereign. This year, from June 2 to June 5, 2022, there is the added celebration of the Platinum Jubilee of Elizabeth II in the UK and Commonwealth to mark the 70th anniversary of her accession to the throne on 6 February 1952.
Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and Sophie, Countess of Wessex ride in a carriage during Trooping The Colour, the Queen's annual birthday parade, on June 02, 2022 in London, England.Trooping The Colour, also known as The Queen's Birthday Parade, is a military ceremony performed by regiments of the British Army that has taken place since the mid-17th century. It marks the official birthday of the British Sovereign. This year, from June 2 to June 5, 2022, there is the added celebration of the Platinum Jubilee of Elizabeth II in the UK and Commonwealth to mark the 70th anniversary of her accession to the throne on 6 February 1952.

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Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex have added an exciting highlight to their calendar!

On Wednesday, Royal Variety announced that the royal couple will attend the charity's flagship event in December as the evening's guests of honor. It will mark the first time that Prince Edward, 58, and Sophie, 57, go to the show.

"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," the organization tweeted, posting a formal portrait of the royal couple.

Set for Dec. 1, the performance supports the Royal Variety Charity, of which Queen Elizabeth II served as the patron. The money raised helps hundreds of entertainers throughout the U.K. who need help and assistance as a result of old age, poor health or hard times. This year's star-studded lineup includes Ellie Goulding, George Ezra, Becky Hill, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Rita Wilson, Cirque du Soleil, Giffords Circus, the London Youth Choir and many more.

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King Charles III, Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have all previously attended the glittering night out on behalf of the royal family. The Prince and Princess of Wales, both 40, went last year, following a pandemic-restricted performance in 2020.

Last year's event was extra special, as it marked a centenary of royal patronage for the Royal Variety Charity. The entertainment organization has been supported by the sovereign since King George V in 1921 and is believed to be "the only charity to exist in the U.K. with such a long, unbroken line of patronage from the reigning monarch," per philanthropy history.

According to the organization, it was King George's wish that the monarch or a senior member of the royal family would always attend the annual performance "to demonstrate the royal family's love and support for the entertainment industry and its associated charity."

However, King Charles, 74, has not yet been formally announced as the organization's royal patron.

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Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and Sophie, Countess of Wessex watch a performance during a Platinum Jubilee celebration on June 4, 2022 in Belfast, United Kingdom. The Platinum Jubilee of Elizabeth II is being celebrated from June 2 to June 5, 2022, in the UK and Commonwealth to mark the 70th anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth II on 6 February 1952.
Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and Sophie, Countess of Wessex watch a performance during a Platinum Jubilee celebration on June 4, 2022 in Belfast, United Kingdom. The Platinum Jubilee of Elizabeth II is being celebrated from June 2 to June 5, 2022, in the UK and Commonwealth to mark the 70th anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth II on 6 February 1952.

Charles McQuillan - Pool /Getty

Like last year, the Royal Variety Performance will be held at the iconic Royal Albert Hall in London. News of Sophie and Prince Edward's attendance as this year's royal guests comes two days after Charles launched the process of having Prince Edward and Princess Anne become Counsellors of State. These royal representatives can stand in for the monarch in official duties if he is abroad or unwell.

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The petition, which is moving through Parliament, signals that Charles imagines an elevated role for siblings Edward and Anne, 72, during his reign. The update comes as current Counsellors of State Prince Harry and Prince Andrew cannot be called upon, as they are no longer senior working royals.