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Memories and music for William as he celebrates 25 years of Jewish Care

The Duke of Cambridge heard a moving tribute to his late mother, Diana, last night as he attended a special evening for a major charity. At the event for Jewish Care singer Lionel Ritchie took to the stage to perform ‘Hello’ and reminded all those listening that it had been a favourite song of Diana, Princess of Wales.

The Duke of Cambridge attended an anniversary event for Jewish Care on Thursday night

The performance came at a dinner to mark the 25th anniversary of Jewish Care which was held at Alexandra Palace in London. And it was a special occasion in many ways for William who, for the first time, addressed a function for the Jewish community in the UK.

During his speech to the 1,400 guests at the event The Duke of Cambridge paid tribute to the charity and praised the ‘real and loving care’ it offers to many, particularly older people. Prince William went on to say that ‘During a year when many in the Jewish community have had cause to feel under threat for no other reason than simply the fact of your Jewishness, your unity is all the more precious’.

William told those listening that a previous Duke of Cambridge – Adolphus, son of George III – had visited the Great Synagogue in London in 1809 and attended a Sabbath service there with some of his brothers. And the present Duke added ‘it is a matter of great pride that these bonds in our society run as deep  as they run long…I know that Jewish Care is viewed as a leader in the social care field.

Jewish Care was established in 1990 by the merger of two charities. It is now the largest provider of health and social care for the Jewish community in the UK and looks after many including older people and Holocaust survivors. It also does a lot of work with people of all ages with mental health problems. It helps around 7,000 people a week and has 1,500 staff and 3,000 volunteers.

And as part of its birthday celebrations Lionel Ritchie was there to sing some of his most famous songs. Before he took to the stage he chatted with The Duke of Cambridge and told reporters afterwards that they had reminisced about Diana, Princess of Wales. The US singer said that he had reminded William that he had given him and Harry their first tour jackets in the 1980s and said that the joke had been how long the young princes would be able to fit into them.

The Duke of Cambridge went on to tease Lionel Ritchie ahead of his performance telling the huge audience that they would be tougher on the singer than the crowds at Glastonbury where Lionel Ritchie will perform later this month. But there was a touching moment as the music began – just before he started one of his most famous hits, ‘Hello’, he said Diana had told him it was one of her favourite songs before adding ‘I thought tonight the dedication is to you, my friend’.

Photo credit: By Chatham House (Chatham House Prize 2014) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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