BBC

London

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge met boyband One Direction, McBusted and Hollywood star Bette Midler when they attended the Royal Variety Performance.

Traditionally the Queen alternates attendance with the Prince of Wales, but this year saw younger members of the royal family take their place. Prince William revealed it was the first time he had seen Midler perform, adding that she was “amazing”.

Styles said the expectant Duchess “didn’t look bumpy”. Fellow One Direction singer Liam Payne said meeting the royal couple was “the most nervous I think I’ve ever been in my life”. Katherine, who is 16 weeks pregnant with her second child, enjoyed catching up with her old school friend, comedian Jack Whitehall.

“It was lovely,” said Whitehall. “We had a little catch-up about school. It was like a school reunion, with just me and her.” Dame Shirley Bassey, Ellie Goulding and Ed Sheeran were also performing at the show at the London Palladium, which was hosted by Michael McIntyre.

“I’d find it pretty hard to walk around a circle and pretend that you like everyone, and they do it very, very well,” said musician Sheeran, who met the couple ahead of the performance. “They’re really, really friendly.” The annual event, held in aid of the Entertainment Artistes’ Benevolent Fund, will be broadcast on ITV in December.