Princess Beatrice has been announced as Patron of the British Skin Foundation.
During the visit, Beatrice toured the research lab at the Centre For Cell Biology and Cutaneous Research, and spoke to scientists and staff. She heard how skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the UK, where at least 100,000 new cases are now diagnosed annually.
On becoming Patron of the British Skin Foundation, Princess Beatrice said: ‘I am so pleased to be able to support the work of the British Skin Foundation. I have admired their work and research for many years, and they have helped so many people through the foundation’s pioneering efforts. I am grateful to be working with them, to learn as much as I can about their ground-breaking endeavours.’
The Princess spoke to Nicky Ewart, who is a survivor of skin cancer. Nicky told to the royal visitor about the fear she experienced when she was first diagnosed with cancer, but also the treatment she received, and her joy at having now made a full recovery.
Nicky explained how ‘being diagnosed with skin cancer is extremely frightening and it’s a time filled with a lot of uncertainty and worry’.
She has also been volunteering for British Skin Foundation as she chose the charity to be the Charity of the Year at Denham Golf Club. Her efforts have resulted in large donations for the charity so far.
‘My skin cancer was thankfully caught early but had to be cut out which can leave scarring and part of my ear was removed,’ Ewart added. ‘A lot of others at the golf club have also had skin cancer so as a group we felt passionately that the British Skin Foundation was a charity we would love to support.’
The British Skin Foundation has been funding research into all skin diseases at centres throughout the UK, including its long history of funding skin cancer research at Queen Mary’s. Whilst dedicated to funding research, the charity also seeks to raise awareness and educate people about different skin conditions, helping to reduce stigma and promote understanding.
British Skin Foundation’s CEO Matthew Patey commented: ‘We very much welcome HRH Princess Beatrice’s involvement as our new Patron. 60% of British people currently suffer from, or have suffered with, a skin disease or skin cancer with many being physically or emotionally affected for life. Princess Beatrice’s support will continue to bring an invaluable focus on the important work we do in trying to alleviate this suffering.’