Queen marks 80 years of Diabetes UK

Published: Tuesday 17th February 2015 by The News Editor

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The Queen has attended a reception to mark the 80th anniversary of Diabetes UK.

She met stars and supporters of the charity at the event which was held at St James’s Palace in London.

Among the people attending were Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers and Genesis guitarist Mike Rutherford.

Both stars have children who suffer from Type 1 diabetes and lend their support to the cause to raise awareness for the disease.

Rodgers, accompanied by his daughter 19-year-old daughter Mischa, who has had diabetes since she was seven, said: “An event like this shows the seriousness of diabetes – if someone like the Queen is patron of the charity and is celebrating the work at that it does.”

At the end of reception the Queen, dressed in an duck-egg blue silk evening suit, was presented with a posy by eight-year-old Amber Clayton, who was just six years old when she found out she had diabetes.

Speaking shortly before the presentation a nervous Amber said: “Is this a dream, or is this real?”

Mischa said the charity had been a great support to her and that in the 12 years she had lived with diabetes, there had been great advances in treatment.

“I have now got cousins around me who are seven years old. It is only when you look at them that you realise they are babies.

“They are so young, and so to try and get your head around it, is quite a big thing. It makes you realise how young I was.”

Rodgers said: “My role is to support, firstly Mischa. And she has been incredible as a young lady being diagnosed.

“And then to be able to support the charity is a great honour, and it is a complete honour and privilege to be here tonight.”

The Queen met a number of people at the reception, taking a short time to speak with them and find out about their involvement with the charity.

Mike Rutherford said he had been spoken to about his youngest son Harry, now 27, who was diagnosed with diabetes 15 years ago.

“I have worked with the charity for a while and the more I can do to promote it, the better. It does such great work.”

Little Amber, wearing a sparkly pink dress that was bought especially for the occasion, said meeting the Queen had been a “weird” experience.

She added: “I have been very excited and it has been making me feel a little bit sick.”

Diabetes UK cares for, connects with and campaigns on behalf of people who are affected by or at risk of diabetes.

There are 3.2 million people in the UK diagnosed with the disease.

The charity provides information, help and peer support, enabling people with diabetes to manage their condition effectively.

It was set up by novelist HG Wells and Dr RD Lawrence, both of whom had diabetes, as The Diabetic Association.

It became the British Diabetic Association in 1954 and Diabetes UK at the turn of the millennium.

Simon O’Neill, Diabetes UK’s director of health intelligence, said: “This event marks our 80th anniversary and it is wonderful to celebrate the important work of the charity and all our achievements so far for people with diabetes.”

“Diabetes affects millions of people in the UK and we are delighted that our patron, Her Majesty The Queen, was able to attend the reception at St James’s Palace to meet so many of our committed volunteers and supporters,” he added.

Published: Tuesday 17th February 2015 by The News Editor

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