The Duchess of Cornwall thanked readers of a magazine who hosted events in their gardens to raise money for a cancer charity at a tea party last week.

Her Royal Highness, who has been President of Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres since 2008, met readers of House and Garden in Vogue House, central London.

The Duchess said: "I’m incredibly proud to be a patron of Maggie’s. It’s the most amazing organisation – it’s life-saving for a lot of people.

“People come out of big hospitals and they don’t know where to go, and there is this haven.

“I want to say thank you to everyone for supporting it.”

Last summer the magazine’s readers hosted plant sales, picnics, children’s tea parties and fetes, raising £70,000 for Maggie’s.

The charity has drop-in centres across the country, as well as one in Hong Kong, which anyone who has been affected by cancer, including families and friends of sufferers, can access for free.

House and Garden chose to support Maggie’s in part because each centre sits within landscaped gardens and are designed by renowned architects, including Sir Richard MacCormac and Frank Gehry, who also designed the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao, Spain.

Maggie’s chief executive Laura Lee said she was “incredibly grateful” for the support of the magazine’s readers and The Duchess.

“Not only did they help raise a fantastic amount of money, but by publishing all these stories the magazine has helped raise awareness of Maggie’s and what we do,” she said. “The work The Duchess puts in means so much, we are incredibly grateful. She is always telling me that her diary is full but then she always finds the time to come to events like this and to give us her support.”

The Duchess first visited the Edinburgh centre in July 2008, after which she was approached to become President.

Her Royal Highness said she became “smitten” with the centre and the charity, and “when I was asked to be President I couldn’t really say no”.

Maggie’s Centres are the vision of designer and landscape architect Maggie Keswick Jencks, which resulted from her own experience of cancer.

Maggie died in 1995, one year before the first centre in Edinburgh opened. Her daughter, Lily Jencks, who is also a landscape architect and gardener, said her mother would have been “so excited and surprised if she knew of The Duchess’s support and had known Maggie’s would become so successful.”


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