Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester was born in 1944, the grandson of George V.
He is currently 24th in line to the throne and carries out royal engagements on behalf of his cousin, Queen Elizabeth II.
He studied architecture at Cambridge and went into practice as a partner in a London architectural firm. In 1972 the death of his brother, William of Gloucester, in a plane crash, left Richard first in line to his father’s Dukedom and he resigned his partnership to take on more royal duties.
We were honoured when the Duke opened our new flats in Bookham Village in May 2012.
Sir Richard Stilgoe has spent 50 years as a performer and writer in all forms of the performing arts. On television he appeared on Nationwide, That’s Life and several series of his own.
He wrote lyrics for Cats, Starlight Express and The Phantom of the Opera and music and lyrics for Bodywork, Brilliant the Dinosaur, ‘Orpheus – the Mythical’ and Road Rage. His broadcasting work has earned him the New York Radio Festival Gold Award, three Monaco Festival Prizes and the Prix Italia.
In 1997 he founded the Orpheus Centre in Surrey, where young people with disabilities prepare for independent living through a series of performing arts courses.
He owns and drives a JCB digger, and has five children and eleven grandchildren. Website: www.richardstilgoe.com
Sir Richard was a gastroenterologist at St Thomas’ Hospital, London for over 30 years. He became a Governor of the Foundation Trust and ran a clinical research laboratory there studying nutritional gastroenterology and publishing over 300 scientific papers.
He was Physician to the Queen for 23 years, becoming Head of the Medical Household, and Treasurer, and later President, of the Royal College of Physicians.
He is an Honorary Fellow of Worcester College, Oxford, and an Honorary Associate Nightingale.
He has served on the boards of the King’s Fund, British Heart Foundation, British Cardiovascular Society, Institute of Psychiatry, Feltham Young Offenders’ Institute, Henry Smith Charity, Thrive, and Royal Medical Foundation of Epsom College. He is currently a Trustee of the National Gardens Scheme and a Patron of Thrive.
Joanna Lumley was born in Kashmir in India in 1946. She spent most of her childhood in the Far East where her father, a major in the Gurkha Rifles, was posted.
She first came to fame in the 1960s as a model in London. Her breakthrough role as an actress was as Purdey in The New Avengers when her fabulous hair was coined the ‘Purdey bob’ and became one of the must-have styles of the 1970s. In 1992, she reinvented herself as a comic actress in Absolutely Fabulous and has been a household name ever since, especially for her campaigning for the rights of Gurkha soldiers.
Joanna Lumley has been quoted as saying: ‘You have to feel more involved than just writing out a cheque. Charity is almost the wrong word – I think people are beginning to feel more responsible for the world.’
We were very pleased when she became one of our patrons in 2005.
Simon Brett is the author of over 90 books including the Charles Paris detective novels, as featured on Radio 4, starring Bill Nighy, as well as the Mrs Pargeter and the Fethering series of crime novels.
Simon’s work is also regularly featured on TV and radio, he is perhaps best known for writing the TV series ‘After Henry’ and ‘No Commitments’. He is the winner of the Crime Writers Association Diamond Dagger Award.