Marie Curie Cancer Care Fundraiser

On Tuesday night I attended Heather Kerzner's star-studded fundraiser for Marie Curie Cancer Care. Marie Curie Cancer Care is best known for its network of 2,700 nurses, who provide vital and free end of life care to patients with terminal illness in their own homes, or in one of its nine hospices.

The beautiful ballroom at Claridges, filled with celebrity florist Rob van Helden’s heavenly pink peonies and red roses, looked almost as stunning as the glamorous guests, including Kate Moss and Jamie Hince, Ronnie Wood, Yasmin Le Bon, Holly Valance and Nick Candy, Tamara Beckwith, Geri Halliwell, Sarah the Duchess of York and Princess Beatrice.

Above:  Wearing a Nanette Lepore velvet dress and turquoise Chanel shoes.  Below: (clockwise) David Bailey and Sarah the Duchess of York, a rocking Ronnie Wood, Holly Valance, Richard Dennen and Kelly Eastwood, a papping Kate Moss, Matthew Freud with Heather Kerzner, Kate Moss and Jamie Hince. Photographs by Christopher Jackson.

During the lavish dinner, Heather Kerzner and model Saffron Aldridge movingly expressed their own personal gratitude to the Marie Curie Cancer Care nurses. Matthew Freud followed, cheekily referring to his infamous scuffle with Hugh Grant (“it’s nice to attend one of Heather’s parties and not get punched… although the night is still relatively young!”) went on to introduce ‘When I Die: Lessons from the Death Zone’, an intimate short film (below) he co-produced about his friend Philip Gould’s final days.

An auction followed, led by the charismatic Lord Harry Dalmeny, that raised over £620,000 for the Marie Curie Cancer Care. The amazing lots included an opportunity to have your portrait taken by David Bailey, a private party at Annabels, and an absolutely stunning George Pragnell Diamond Daffodil ring.  The ring, shown below, in the shape of a daffodil (the Marie Curie’s emblem) was designed by the jeweller’s grandson, Charlie Pragnell, in recognition of Marie Curie’s outstanding work.  I was allowed to wear the stunning ring, with its rare and glittering orange-yellow diamond centre for around five minutes before I was reminded I had to give it back... They were a happy five minutes. ‘My’ beautiful daffodil ring was later auctioned off for £50,000. Parting is such sweet sorrow...

Kate Moss took to the stage to model a last minute donation from Ronnie Wood; a painting of Rod Stewart by the Rolling Stone himself. The piece was auctioned off for £12,000 after Lord Harry Dalmeny managed to push the bidding past £10,000 by saying that Kate Moss wouldn’t even get out of bed for so little… Reaslising he’d got his supermodel’s mixed up (“Oh, no, that’s not you – that’s the other one!”) Kate went on to confirm that she would indeed rise from bed for less than £10,000. Damn recession.

We were later entertained by the legendary Grammy award winning R&B artist Sam Moore, who was joined on stage by Ronnie Wood in a surprise set that included 'Stay With Me' and 'Mustang Sally' (which was directed at Wood’s new girlfriend… Sally!) 

My place at the front of the stage allowed me the perfect view of Ronnie Wood’s studded Louboutin loafers, and in what must be the most glamorous mosh pit ever, I spent a good part of the evening dancing next to Kate Moss.  Just your average Tuesday night…

After a hugely fun and successful night, Heather Kerzner commented, "I am so impressed by the work of Marie Curie Cancer Care it was natural for me to lend my support. People don't like to talk about death, but we all have to face it and I wanted to help bring money and attention to this incredible charity whose nurses, like angels, bring peace to terminally ill patients and their families during this devastating time."

Below: In the Marie Curie Photo Booth with Katy Wickremesinghe and with Charlie Pragnell (wearing the stunning George Pragnell Daffodil Diamond ring he designed.)