The Duke of Cambridge was joined by a host of stars from screen and fashion to celebrate one of the world’s leading cancer-specialist hospitals this week.
Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch, Emma Watson of Harry Potter fame and Hollywood actresses Cate Blanchett and Helena Bonham Carter were guests at Windsor Castle for the night honouring the Royal Marsden.
Supermodels Kate Moss and Cara Delevingne were also invited to the black-tie do along with designer Ralph Lauren, who has made a generous donation to help fund a new breast cancer research centre which has been named in his honour.
The fashion guru’s support went further as he dressed many of the stars attending the dinner hosted by The Duke, who is the hospital’s President.
The Royal Marsden was founded as the Free Cancer Hospital in 1851 by Dr William Marsden, and was the first hospital in the world dedicated to cancer treatment and research into the causes of cancer.
Bonham Carter said events like the dinner were needed to raise awareness and funds for the fight against cancer.
She said: "It requires a huge amount of money to come up with a cure for cancer.
“We now live in times when it doesn’t mean death, a lot of people are living with the disease. It’s very different from when I was a child, the C word was taboo. Hopefully, for my children, it will be a thing of the past.”
Cumberbatch described The Duke as a “stand up” guy.
After speaking to The Duke, he said: “I’m here tonight to show my support, I’ve done work for various cancer trusts and charities but for the Marsden, it’s the first thing I’ve done for them.”
The actor went on to praise the financial support the Royal Marsden has received from Ralph Lauren.
Stars from popular period drama Downton Abbey – Laura Carmichael and Allen Leech – were among the guests, as was Game of Thrones actress Sophie Turner.
The Duke became the Royal Marsden’s president in 2007, following in the footsteps of his mother Diana, Princess of Wales, who held the same position.
In a speech delivered in Windsor Castle’s St George’s Hall, The Duke told his guests: "I am exceptionally proud to be President of the Royal Marsden, an incredible hospital and a world-class cancer centre carrying out ground-breaking work, influencing the treatment of cancer both nationally and internationally.
“I have experienced this brilliant work first hand during several visits to the Royal Marsden. Only last year, I visited the Chelsea hospital and saw for myself some of the complex and pioneering surgery that takes place on a daily basis.
“The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity is a crucial part of the life-saving work of the hospital. It is the charity that helps to provide the best state-of-the-art facilities for modern cancer care.
“These include the theatre suite and Critical Care Unit in Chelsea, the surgical da Vinci robot, the latest radiotherapy machine CyberKnife, and the inspiring Oak Centre for Children and Young People.
“It is the support of the charity which enables the Royal Marsden to give patients throughout the United Kingdom the very best cancer care available anywhere in the world.”
The Duke has had a long association with the hospital, spending two days’ work experience at the institution’s children’s unit in December 2005. He helped out in various departments, including medical research, catering and fundraising, and toured a number of the wards.
Last November The Duke visited the hospital’s site in Chelsea, west London, where he viewed sections of a breast reconstruction procedure and the removal of a bladder tumour involving two patients.