Sophie, Countess of Wessex and Prince Edward joined the Queen and the rest of the Royal Family last night for the stunning Festival of Remembrance. The programme of music and dance, and special commemorative service, was at the Royal Albert Hall in central London, which is particularly renowned for hosting cultural events from the worlds of opera, music, ballet and ballroom dance, among national favourites like the BBC Proms. Last night, Jeff Goldblum took the stage on piano to play “Let’s Face the Music and Dance”, made famous originally by Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in 1936.
He was joined by a host of incredible dancers who performed in gorgeous costumes evocative of the Thirties.
Their Fred and Ginger-inspired American Smooth routine was by Choreographer Patrick Helm, who is well-known for his work on Strictly Come Dancing.
Sophie will surely have been moved by the tribute, as an amateur ballroom dancer and lover of Strictly herself.
Catherine Davies, head of remembrance for the Royal British Legion, reminded audiences why art and performance are a special part of Remembrance.
Speaking on podcast Pod Save the Queen, Ms Davies said: “There’s something in the collectiveness, and us acknowledging together.
“The arts and music are incredibly powerful routes to this.
“We saw this after World War 1, with literature, with music, people create incredible works.
“There are many, many different ways to connect and perform those experiences.”
Strictly host Tess Daly said at the time: “They enjoyed all the action from the front row and they had a great night. It was great to welcome them.”
Prince Edward is also a keen supporter of dance, as he has been the patron of renowned ballet company Northern Ballet since 2003.
Princess Diana was famously the patron of the English National Ballet, and often watched rehearsals and classes at their Kensington studios.
Prince George is following in his late grandmother’s graceful footsteps, as the 6-year-old prince is already taking ballet classes.
After American TV show host Lara Spencer made derogatory comments about boys taking ballet lessons, hundreds of dancers showed up outside TV studios in New York to stage a giant ballet class together in support of Prince George and his fellow ballet stars of the future.