The prince’s trust

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Sir Rod Stewart poses with his wife Lady Stewart before donning his knighthood medal to perform with Jools Holland and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra

There was an outpouring of love and affection for the King as the stars turned out in force for his Prince’s Trust Invest in Futures gala dinner in the palatial ballroom of The Peninsula hotel in London’s Belgravia.

Although His Majesty could not be there in person as he continues to undergo treatment for an undisclosed form of cancer, he was there in spirit when his tender words for the charity closest to his heart were read to a captive audience by Tom Hiddleston.

Looking dapper in a tuxedo and bow tie, the Thor actor took to the stage to relay the King’s message to more than 350 distinguished guests, including Prince’s Trust ambassadors and supporters such as Sir Rod and Lady Stewart – the TV personality Penny Lancaster – plus acting royalty Joseph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Jeremy Irons, Luke Evans and Joely Richardson. Also there were presenter Myleene Klass and musician Jools Holland.


Speaking on behalf of His Majesty, Tom – who had met the Queen only the day before, at a starstudded event at Buckingham Palace to celebrate children’s writing competition 500 Words – said: “In the beginning, I hoped that by supporting young people to develop their latent skills and to find work or training, the trust would be able to help change some individuals’ lives for the better. I am thrilled to say that it has now worked with more than one million young people, helping them to start careers, launch businesses and re-engage with education.

“I am enormously inspired by the determination and commitment of young people. They are change-makers – they will shape the world’s future and we must support them to realise their dreams.”

The King, who in 1976 used his Royal Navy severance pay to establish the Prince’s Trust – soon to be renamed the King’s Trust – has gone on to fulfil his own dream.

And his shining example of caring kindness lit up the room at the gala, where Sir Rod and Jools raised the roof with a performance of songs from their new album Swing Fever, , which stormed to the top of the charts the same week.

“Before we go any further, let’s wish our King a return to good health,” said Sir Rod, to a rousing round of applause.

Proudly sporting the medal marking his knighthood – awarded for services to music and charity – on a ribbon around his neck, the showman rocked the room alongside Jools and his close friend’s 18-piece Rhythm & Blues Orchestra, belting out favourites such as Ain’t Misbehavin’, Night Train and, in a special tribute to his “dear wife” Penny, who took to the floor to dance, Pennies from Hea

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