Prince William hosts international guests at gala without wife Kate

LONDON - International celebrities and models were welcomed into the Windsor Castle for a gala dinner to celebrate the work by The Royal Marsden Hospital, where Prince William is the president, reported British media Daily Mail.

Actresses Zhang Ziyi, Emma Watson, Cate Blanchett, and models Kate Moss, Cara Delevingne and Jessica Michibata were part of 200 guests who were welcomed beyond the royal gates and enjoyed the evening reception on May 13.

Noticeably missing was the Duchess of Cambridge who was reportedly away on maternity leave, said Daily Mail. In the United Kingdom, female employees are eligible for 52 weeks of maternity leave, of which 39 weeks are paid.

According to Daily Mail, the royal couple have made it clear that they prefer to keep their engagements and charitable projects separate "to spread their influence more widely".

Prince William took on the role of president of the hospital in 2007, a position which was once held by his mother, the late Princess Diana.

Daily Mail reported that the 31-year-old also supports the work of the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, where his wife and his brother, Prince Harry, are also patrons.

Many of the guests were glammed up in Ralph Lauren fashion outfits at the gala. Mr Lauren, 74, also attended the lavish dinner with his wife and three sons.

The American designer recently announced a partnership with Royal Marsden to develop a world-class breast cancer research facility at its Chelsea hospital. The centre will cover a whole level at the historic English hospital.

Mr Lauren said fighting breast cancer has been "a long-standing goal" of his and the facility will be staffed by world-renowned clinicians and scientists with the goal of improving early diagnosis and developments of new treatments for the disease.

The VIP guests enjoyed a three-course dinner at the Great Hall starting with a seared hot-smoked salmon, a main course of roasted fillet of beef, and a chocolate and salted caramel tart with ice cream and caramelised bananas, reported the Daily Mail.

wjeanne@sph.com.sg

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