The guests at our annual Ladies Brunch were entertained by Corsetiere to the Queen June Kenton who was the main speaker at the event, which raised £65,000.
As owner of luxury lingerie brand Rigby & Peller, which has the Royal warrant, Mrs Kenton has been fitter to several Royals, including Her Majesty The Queen, HRH Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, HRH Princess Margaret and the HRH Princess of Wales.
She spoke of her humble beginnings selling clothes with her husband Howard in Brixton Market and her vivid memory of her first nerve-wracking meeting with the Queen, recalling: “I said ‘Good Morning’ and the Queen turned to me and said ‘I have 8,000 for tea today’. I thought why isn’t she making the sandwiches!
“I was good friends with Princess Diana and used to go there for lunch. I used to go to Princess Margaret a lot – she never wore anything that wasn’t made for her. Often I would see pictures of her in Mustique and I knew she was wearing Rigby & Peller.”
Britain’s Got Talent finalist and impersonator Francine Lewis was joined by her multiple personas as compere for the brunch at JW3 and Immanuel College vocal group brought their beautiful harmonies to the room.
The event was chaired by Camp Simcha parent Rachael Pollock along with Victoria Joseph who told guests about our work supporting families coping with serious childhood illness.
They also heard from Camp Simcha parent Jane Clifton, whose family was supported by Camp Simcha after her son, 14-year-old Mason was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare type of soft tissue sarcoma.
Mrs Clifton said: “Camp Simcha became our life raft. My amazing Family Liaison Officer Mandy, literally became my ‘go to’ person. From the outset she knew what we needed without us even having to ask.”
Mason, who has now finished treatment, needed an operation to remove the tumour and then six months of chemotherapy.
“On a practical level, Camp Simcha took away some of the strain,” said Mrs Clifton. “They organised hospital transport for us which really took the pressure off – as some weeks we were going to and from UCH almost daily. My younger daughter Eden also really needed some TLC, so Camp Simcha sent in their amazing art teacher Belinda. She come over to our house for one special hour each week, giving Eden one to one attention and the world of art to escape to. Eden also had a lovely ‘Big Sister’ volunteer who came in weekly to spend time with her and take her on outings.
“Camp Simcha also managed to find something to bring joy to a teenage sports car enthusiast, arranging a Ferrari ride and then a day at Donnington race track. To see Mason’s face when he returned, his massive smile, was truly wonderful, considering all he was going through.”
See all the amazing pictures of the day here.