Last week took part the annual Elton John’s White Tie and Tiara Ball to Windsor Castle. The guest list included Tom Ford, David Walliams and model Lily Cole. Elton and Lady Gaga performed a duet together (a mash-up of her song Speechless and his composition Your Song) while there was an auction of celebrity lots: Damien Hirst has donated an Audi (the new A1 model) which has been turned into a spin painting, Anselm Kiefer has donated a sculpture and bidders had the chance to go on tour with Elton and David Furnish to see their funding in action.
Thomas Hughes-Hallett, the CEO of Marie Curie Cancer Care who was the auctioneer at the Russian Midsummer Ball, believes it is only thanks to the current crop of super auction heroes that record sums are still being raised for charity. He says: "It is never certain how an auction will go and when people like Richard Caring, Cyrus Vandrevala and John Caudwell step up to the plate it makes a huge difference to the sums raised and to the help given to those in need."
The Russian Midsummer Ball raised £1.7 million, shared between the Raisa Gorbachev Foundation and the UK Marie Curie cancer charity. Cyrus Vandrevala was an important bidder at that event too, last year. The private equity investor bid £75,000 and joined President Gorbachev with his family in Moscow.