Charlotte Church greets the Queen upon her arrival while Katherine Jenkins and a group of blue-headed dancers look on
Photo: EMPICS
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Her Majesty makes the aquaintance of some rather robust ballerinas
Photo: EMPICS

22 NOVEMBER 2005

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The Queen found herself mingling with pop idols and opera sensations when she paid a visit to Wales this week. Katherine Jenkins, Charlotte Church and Will Young were among the big names who welcomed the monarch when she arrived for the Royal Variety Performance in Cardiff's Millennium Centre.

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Dame Shirley Bassey, Sir Cliff Richard and heavy metal wildman Ozzy Osbourne were also in attendance for the annual bash, which was being staged for the first time in Wales. And Her Majesty, who was elegant in a red chiffon gown and grey shawl, couldn't contain her laughter when she was introduced to a troupe of cross-dressing ballet dancers on her way into the event.

It was hostess Catherine Tate who made the biggest impression on the evening's guest of honour, though. Adopting the guise of her rowdy teenage character Lauren, the comedienne looked to the royal box and demanded: "Are you disrespecting me?". When her co-star stepped in, warning "she could have you beheaded", the TV comic replied: "I don't care, I don't even need it!", before turning to the Queen again and asking: "Is one bovvered?".

The sovereign smiled politely in acknowledgement of the joke, while her husband Prince Philip was seen laughing to himself. Afterwards the royal couple were treated to top-notch musical entertainment, with Katherine Jenkins singing the Donna Summer track I Feel Love and Shirley Bassey performing a medley of her greatest hits.

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