Blenheim Palace hosts star-studded ball for children’s charity


Jamie Laing, Radio 1 DJ and Newlyweds podcaster, hosted the evening at the iconic venue. Sam Ryder, UK singer-songwriter, was also in attendance and gave a spectacular performance, including his UK chart number 1, ‘Space Man’. Guests in attendance included Princess Beatrice Mapelli Mozzi, Lady Alexandra Spencer-Churchill, Frederick Iseman, Dr Genevieve Davies, Lord Hintze, artist Chris Levine, Starlight co-founder and Dynasty Actor Emma Samms and Sophie Habboo.

The event raised money for Starlight, a charity that supports children in hospitals across the UK to experience play. The Duchess of Marlborough kindly welcomed Starlight back to the beautiful Blenheim Palace to host the glamorous charity fundraiser. Guests enjoyed an exquisite three-course dinner by Michelin Starred chef, Adam Handling, and danced the night away at the after party hosted by the exclusive private members club, Maison Estelle.

Lord Dalmeny, chairman of Sotheby’s UK, presided over the impressive auction lots which included hospitality at the Monaco Grand Prix on a yacht with Eddie Jordan, art works by Chris Levine and David Yarrow, and a luxury holiday at the exclusive Ultima Courchevel. All funds go to Starlight who provide vital play resources to children undergoing treatment in hospitals across the country.

Guests heard from a family whose daughter has spent much of her life in hospital after, tragically, being diagnosed with leukaemia at just five months old. The toys and sensory equipment donated by Starlight proved to be an essential part of her treatment, providing some normalcy and play as she underwent gruelling chemotherapy.

Jamie Laing, broadcaster, says: “It was such a privilege to host the Blenheim Ball in aid of Starlight, a wonderful charity that works to ensure children in hospital experience play during their treatment. The money raised tonight will help Starlight continue to protect play for seriously ill children and their families. I’m so proud to have been part of such a memorable event for a very important cause.”

Cathy Gilman, CEO of Starlight, says: “We are overwhelmed by the generosity of our guests at tonight’s event. Their kind donations will give thousands of children in hospital the opportunity to play, which we know has the power to reduce fear and relieve trauma. The night was a huge success thanks to our organising committee, Alasdair Hadden-Paton, Lady Alexandra Spencer-Churchill, Oliver Hardcastle and Olivia McCall, and we are so grateful to everyone who supported the event.”