Thursday 29 September 2016

Rita Ora leads stars in tribute to Charles at Prince's Trust event

Published 07/03/2016 | 18:11

The Prince of Wales meets Rita Ora during the Prince's Trust Celebrate Success Awards at the London Palladium
The Prince of Wales meets Rita Ora during the Prince's Trust Celebrate Success Awards at the London Palladium

Singer Rita Ora brought a touch of glamour to a Prince's Trust awards ceremony that saw the Prince of Wales receive a string of plaudits to mark his charity's 40th year.

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The X Factor judge was among a host of famous faces at the London Palladium honouring young people who have turned their lives around with the trust's help, and recognised for their achievements by the Celebrate Success awards.

Former Spice Girl Geri Horner led the tributes to Charles, who set up the charity in 1976 to support disadvantaged youngsters - and during the past four decades the organisations have helped more than 825,000 people.

The singer told the invited audience: "I remember singing with the Spice Girls 20 years ago for the Prince's Trust back in 1996 and I've followed this amazing charity ever since."

She went on to say: "When you're the boss of a business you never get a pat on your back and everyone else gets the 'well done'.

"I just want to say, I think I can say it on behalf of every single person in this room, every person that's benefited from the Prince's Trust (a) thank you to the man that actually 40 years ago had the energy, the drive, the vision, to start the Prince's Trust - and that is His Royal Highness."

Earlier the entertainer almost reprised her famous encounter with Charles when she left a huge lipstick mark on his face, but this time the former Spice Girl settled for a huge hug and a peck on the cheek.

She told the heir to the throne "Forty years, it's amazing," and when he replied "terrifying" she added "A big massive well done, I'm so happy to support you."

Among the celebrities who presented awards were actors Tom Hardy, Kevin Whately and Brenda Blethyn, boyband the Vamps, boxer David Haye and Alesha Dixon.

Ora opened the event by singing her single, I Will Never Let You Down and performed a paired down rendition of Aretha Franklin's hit Respect to huge applause.

Whately, a popular television actor known for his roles in the crime dramas Inspector Morse and Lewis, said: "Congratulations sir on 40 years of this fantastic organisation."

He said later: "At the time I became involved with the charity it seemed a very important thing to do, and now it's even more important.

"There's less opportunity for young people and it's much more difficult to get a going, to get financial backing and realise their dreams."

During the awards ceremony the audience heard the moving stories of young people like Laine Esperanzate, who won the Breakthrough Award for overcoming mental health problems to gain a place on a graphic design apprenticeship.

She spent nine months at a young person's psychiatric unit and had thoughts of suicide but eventually challenged her creativity into something positive.

At the end of the ceremony Charles gave a short speech in which he thanked the ceremony's hosts Ant and Dec.

The Geordie duo presented a documentary about the Prince's Trust earlier in the year and Charles joked the programme should have had the sub-title of I'm A Member Of The Royal Family... Get Me Out Of Here!

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