Thursday, 2 September 2021

Prince Harry GQ Awards Surprise & Sentebale Polo Fundraiser

There was a surprise in store at the prestigious GQ Awards when Prince Harry (looking very dapper in a tux) joined proceedings virtually to honour Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert, Dr Catherine Green, and the entire Oxford Team for their momentous lifesaving work on the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. The fight for vaccine equity has been a cause at the forefront of the Sussexes' minds, and their commitment to Global Citizen and Vax Live continues.

Harry opened with a lighthearted moment, saying, "It's not often one wears a tuxedo at 3 pm, unless it's from the night before!" Then it was to the task at hand. "I’m deeply honoured to be introducing our final awardees, who you’ll immediately recognise for their landmark contribution to the fight against COVID-19. Our heroes of this evening are Professor Sarah Gilbert, Doctor Catherine Green, and the entire team of dedicated Oxford scientists. Their breakthrough research on the Oxford Vaccine has brought the world one of our greatest tools for achieving vaccine equity. They also approached their mission with a humanitarian urgency. In April of last year, the Oxford Team packed up a shipment of research cultures and stealthily sent it to India—an early example of the biotech collaboration we need to bring this global crisis to an end."

Harry continued:

'At the same time, families around the world are being overwhelmed by mass-scale misinformation across ‘news’ media and social media, where those who peddle in lies and fear are creating vaccine hesitancy, which in turn is dividing communities and eroding trust. This is a system we need to break if we are to overcome COVID-19 and the rise of new variants.

The Oxford Team have done their part. They are heroes of the highest order who gave us an instrument to fight this disease. They are our nation’s pride, and we are deeply indebted to their service.

For the rest of us—including global governments, pharmaceutical leaders, and heads of business—we have to keep doing our part. That must include sharing vaccine science and supporting and empowering developing countries with more flexibility. Where you’re born should not affect your ability to survive, when the drugs and know-how exist to keep you alive and well.

Thank you, again, to Professor Gilbert and Doctor Green, who The Guardian called “Two ordinary people who managed to pull off an extraordinary feat while dealing with the everyday stresses that come with being full-time mums and breadwinners in a notoriously insecure and poorly paid field.”

From the University of Oxford:

People reports:
'World-leading scientists have applauded the prince's remarks. "We didn't know that was going to happen. Suddenly Prince Harry's on stage!" Dr. Green said about the Duke's surprise appearance. "He said all of the things we wanted to say about the necessity to get vaccines to the world for people irrespective of their ability to pay. A really important message."

Dame Sarah added, "We're not going to be safe until everybody is safe and it's really important to get the vaccine to everybody around the world."
Held at the Tate Modern, the 24th GQ Awards honoured an array of well-known figures, including Sir Anthony Hopkins, Quentin Tarantino, Regé-Jean Page, Ed Sheeran, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Adrian Dunbar (if you're a fan of BBC's Line of Duty, you will share in my excitement about this win :)), Gareth Southgate and Team GB & Paralympics GB. It was a terrific night and Harry was in his element, receiving both a lovely welcome and an ovation when his piece began.

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Of course, you'll know Harry was back in the saddle and those famous white pants in support of a charity closest to his heart - Sentebale - at Aspen Valley Polo Club, Colorado. Harry personally pledged $1.5 million from the proceeds of his upcoming memoir to the charity. With the event raising an incredibly impressive $3.5 million, the charity revealed: "This year’s Polo Cup, together with The Duke of Sussex’s generous donation, will allow us to operate at full scale and will mean more children and young people across Lesotho and Botswana will receive essential support, care, and build skills to be more resilient and self-sufficient in the future."

In a statement coinciding with the fundraising event, Harry said: "Our refocused mission at Sentebale is about addressing the most immediate needs of vulnerable children in Southern Africa, helping them access vital health services, receive necessary care, and build skills to be more resilient and self-sufficient in the future. We are incredibly grateful to our gracious hosts in Aspen, to ISPS Handa and the many other sponsors, and to everyone involved in making this year’s match not only possible—but most importantly, as safe as possible for the protection of donors, players, staff, and the entire community. The Sentebale Polo Cup is critical to securing the funds needed to advance this important mission, and I’m thrilled to be able to support Sentebale, both in person and financially through a separate charitable donation to meet this immediate need. This is one of several donations I plan to make to charitable organisations and I’m grateful to be able to give back in this way for the children and communities who gravely need it."

Harry was joined by close friend, Sentebale Ambassador, and Argentine high goal polo player, Nacho Figueras, with the Sentebale team winning 3-0. Harry scored two goals.

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And on that happy note for Sentebale, I know you'll all join me in wishing Meghan's mum Doria a very Happy Birthday today. Doria celebrates her 65th birthday, no doubt surrounded by Meghan, Harry, Archie and Lili today. It's hard to believe Lili is almost three months old!

13 comments:

  1. Well done Harry, of course it makes sense as he and Meghan raised $302 million recently

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  2. Thanks, Charlotte. Great compilation!

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  3. Thank you for this post -- I love to see Harry being the Harry we love!

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  4. Thanks Charlotte. Congratulations Harry
    I am so proud of Him." Action is Universal "
    Happy birthday Queen Doria .

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  5. Great to see Harry out and about doing what he does best. Sentebale does amazing things and I’m so proud of our Oxford team of women. Interesting that they asked him… the press try to tell us that us Brits don’t like Harry anymore. I do, and clearly I am not alone. LRB

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    1. Thank you for posting. I recently sat with my uk in-laws and the question was asked ‘what do people think of H & M’ my answer was a small minority are making a lot of noise so it’s hard to really tell…. Then I gave my personal opinion. They were similar … if you read the newspapers or pay attention to about 5-6 Twitter-‘journalists’ it sounds like the uk hates them but if you talk to individuals there’s a lot more understanding and appreciation for where they are and what they are doing.

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  6. Wonderful assemblage of items! From a fantastic tux for a wonderful cause to yes, polo! for Sentebale, to a joyous occasion for ever awesome Doria... all portending an auspicious beginning to fall and increased activity as maternity leave comes to a close. Thank you,Charlotte.

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    1. BeanieG,
      Love your line: “wonderful assemblage of items!”
      I agree!
      Renee

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  7. Oh I love the Duke of Sussex, he looks great but sorry, the Duke of Hastings definitely was the most good-looking royal at this event lol. Happy belated birthday to lovely Doria and 3-month birthday to baby Lilibet (still can't believe we've yet to see her *sighs*)

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  8. Nice to see a post about Harry ! And Happy wishes to Doria , she must be having fun with Archie and Lili

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    1. Yes, so great have a granny nearby to create special memories.

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  9. Dear Charlotte
    Thank you for all the positive vibes you bring to all of us with your always news-worthy blog. From Prince Harry’s awards presentation to the Oxford scientists, to Polo for Sentebale to Doria’s birthday.
    Your posts make me smile!
    Renee

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  10. Looking forward to seeing Jill and Harry!

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