The Tusk Ball at Kensington Palace raises £500,000 for the royal wildlife charity
Auction lots included a silver lion sculpture by Grant Macdonald London
The Tusk Ball charity gala, hosted at Kensington Palace on Thursday 9 May, has raised £500,000 for wildlife conservation projects in Africa. The charity, of which the Duke of Cambridge is royal patron, held its ball in the State Rooms and Pavilion of the palace, welcoming guests including host Rory Bremner, Tusk Trust ambassador and performer Katherine Jenkins, and celebrity trustees including Deborah Meaden and co-founder Charlie Mayhew. Other attendees included Mike Tindall and Peter Phillips, Viscountess Weymouth, Rachel Riley and Zainab Badawi.
The 350 guests were treated to a champagne and canapés reception in the State Apartments, followed by a three-course dinner. Live and silent auctions preceeded entertainment in the palace Pavilion with views of the sunken gardens. While Prince William could not attend, he leant his support with a video message before ambassador Jenkins performed with John Owen Jones.
Auction lots included black and white pastel etchings by musician Ronnie Wood, a Marc Quinn rhino sculpture entitled 'On Cognizance', a mixed media painting by artist Lin Barrie, a trio of Rosamond Lloyd lion sculptures and a Land Rover Ice Academy Experience. One particularly impressive lot was the Grant Macdonald silver lion sculpture, 'Ruaha', which sold for an £17,000. >>
"This is our first collaboration with a charity. We're really interested in what Tusk is doing in terms of their work in Africa, as well as how they are linked very heavily with other arts, such as photography and sculpture," Grant Macdonald managing director George Macdonald told Tempus. "The Ruaha Carnivore Project is a Tusk led initiative that educates the villages of Ruaha, Africa about [protecting] lions."
Tusk CEO and co-founder Charlie Mayhew thanked guests for the money raised and said it would be used to support the vital work of the charity's conservation partners across Africa.
"For nearly 30 years, Tusk has been at the forefront of conservation in Africa… and the work of Tusk and our partners to stem the loss of biodiversity has never been more important," he said. "Aside from our extensive investment into field programmes and the success we have had in persuading the UK and others to introduce tough new legislation to tackle the illegal wildlife trade, we are seeking to meet the growing challenges that threaten Africa’s environment and wildlife over the next 30 years with a high-level Thought Leadership initiative which has brought together key influencers from the world of business, philanthropy, conservation, policy and politics."