Watch: Princess Eugenie gets emotional as she praises Sarah Ferguson for charity work
Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie have paid tribute to their mother’s “boundless energy” as the trio mark the 30th anniversary of the Teenage Cancer Trust.
The two princesses and Sarah Ferguson joined forces in a rare shared engagement during a video call which also included The Who’s Roger Daltrey.
The Trust is marking 30 years since it was founded and set up its first hospital, which was opened by Sarah, the Duchess of York.
She has remained a passionate supporter of the charity, and her daughters have also accompanied her on some of her visits. Sarah took both of them to the hospitals on their 18th birthdays.
Pregnant Princess Eugenie, who is said to have moved back into Kensington Palace after reports she was going to live in Frogmore Cottage, was moved to tears as she remembered how her mother’s work had inspired her.
She said: “We’re very honoured to be here, but we wouldn’t be here unless you had educated us in how we give back to people.”
Waving her hand in front of the camera, she said: “I’m going to cry. Stop it.”
Princess Beatrice said: “Mum, everyone on this call has been inspired today by your boundless energy. I think you've touched each and every single one of us with the mission that you have embraced through Teenage Cancer Trust.
“Thanks to your energy, as well as everybody else on the call, we are one big Teenage Cancer Trust family for the last 30 years, and we will continue to be, with your spirit embedded into the very core of this organisation.”
Also on the call was Jane Sutton, mother of Stephen Sutton, in whose name nearly £6m has been raised for TCT.
He started his campaigning work when he was 15 and diagnosed with colorectal cancer. When he found out his cancer was incurable, he set out to raise £10,000 for the charity, alongside completing 45 other tasks before he died.
Stephen was given a posthumous award, accepted by his mother.
She said: “I miss Stephen every day and I wish he was here to see all that he’s achieved.
“I always used to joke with him about his original £10,000 fundraising target - I’d say ‘well, you got that wrong didn’t you Stephen!’
“By the time he passed in May 2014 he’d raised £3million, but now we’re nearing the £6 million mark and his legacy lives on. Stephen’s fundraising has changed the lives of teenagers and young people with cancer. He wanted every young person to have access to the same support as he’d had throughout his cancer journey.
“I’m so proud to accept this award for Stephen and for him to receive special recognition as part of Teenage Cancer Trust’s 30th anniversary celebrations.”
The princesses and their mother also spoke to Daltrey who has been a long term supporter of the charity, organising gigs at the Royal Albert Hall to raise money.
Speaking about his affiliation with TCT, he said: “This charity has given me so much back. My teenage years were very, very difficult as I'm sure maybe yours were too. I call that my Tommy period in life, and isolation was quite a big part of it, I didn't quite know who I was.”
TCT was founded by Dr Adrian Whiteson and Myrna Whiteson. The royal trio also thanked other volunteers who have helped TCT over the years, as well as Sue Morgan, a nurse who has worked with the charity for 12 years.
Sarah said: “It’s so shocking to think now that back in 1990 there was no specialist care for teenagers and young adults with cancer.
“Imagine being diagnosed with cancer at 17 and being treated on a ward with much older people, talked to as an adult by doctors when you are still a child, your loved ones not being able to stay with you overnight. How lonely and frightening that experience would be.
“Thank goodness Adrian and Myrna came along and founded Teenage Cancer Trust – what an incredible difference this charity has made in such a short space of time.
“Since I opened the first special unit for young people 30 years ago, 27 others have been established right across the UK, and the nurses and youth support teams that work within them are absolute heroes. My daughters and I are so proud to be part of the Teenage Cancer Trust family, and part of these 30th anniversary celebrations.”
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