On Tuesday evening, The Queen hosted a reception to celebrate the 50 years of work and service that her cousin, Princess Alexandra, has given her charities and patronages.
In an event that was held in the picture gallery of Buckingham Palace, the reception was attended by Sophie, Countess of Wessex, Birgitte, Duchess of Gloucester, and representatives of the organisations Alexandra works with.
Princess Alexandra, The Honourable Lady Ogilvy is the youngest granddaughter of George V and Queen Mary, through her father Prince George, Duke of Kent. She is the widow of Sir Angus Ogilvy, and before her marriage she was known as Princess Alexandra of Kent.
The Royal party met with representatives, supporters, staff, and volunteers at the reception from 100 charities that the Princess serves as Patron. These range from health care and education, to arts communities and culture. Alexandra also supports The Queen in her duties as Head of State, attending ceremonial occasions alongside other members of the Royal Family, such as State Banquets for incoming State Visits.
Princess Alexandra is well known for her work with the blind. She is Patron of Guide Dogs for the Blind Association and of Action for Blind People as well as President of Sightsavers. Sightsavers has the aim of improving the lives of people with disabilities, particularly those who have permanent sight loss was represented. Sightsavers is one of only nine charities given a ‘high performance’ rating by the UK Department for International Development as part of a 2012 Independent Performance Review of their Programme Partnership Arrangement.
The Countess of Wessex also has involvement with sight charities, which explains her presence at the reception.
Guide dogs from the Princess’ patronage Guide Dogs For The Blind also took the place of The Queen’s corgis, who regularly roam the Palace during receptions. The charity campaigns for the rights of people with visual impairment, educate the public about eye care and fund eye disease research.
Princess Alexandra spoke with members of the British National Opera, which she has served as Patron for over thirty years. The chief exec of the British National Opera (of which Alexandra is patron) told The Associated Press: “She is a supportive and steady presence in the role and has been particularly helpful during “difficult and challenging times”.”
The Princess gave an address: “First, I must thank Your Majesty for your kind generosity in giving this wonderful Reception.
“Many of you here this evening represent organisations with whom The Queen has been affiliated for over 60 years. There are others, passed on to me from Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother and from my own mother, Princess Marina.
“Today, by coincidence, is the date of the Wedding Anniversary of my parents.
Princess Alexandra at a reception for charities she's linked to: pic.twitter.com/2DeVRV0nCj
— @PeterDGPHunt (@PeterDGPHunt) November 29, 2016
“The success of a charity relies heavily on the dedication of hard-working volunteers and I am proud to know of the excellent progress you continue to make in the many different fields represented here – from the Armed Services, Community and Social Services, Culture, Education, the Environment and Health Services.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, in celebration of all that you do, I am sure that Her Majesty joins me in wishing you all an enjoyable evening.”