Prince Harry visit one to savour for Big Curry Lunch


Prince Harry was the guest of honour as generous diners gorged on curry while raising funds for three worthy causes.

The Duke of Sussex, who is expecting his first child this month, gave his backing to the 12th annual Lord Mayor’s Big Curry Lunch, held to support ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity, and the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund.

More than 1,500 guests took their seat at Guildhall on 4 April, rubbing shoulders with Army personnel of all ranks, including senior officers such as General Sir Mark Carleton-Smith CBE.

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HRH The Duke of Sussex with former Sergeant Mark Stevens of The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, a beneficiary of ABF The Soldiers’ Charity. Photo by Helen Abraham

Prince Harry, who twice served in Afghanistan before leaving the Army in 2015, is a champion of the Armed Forces and said he was delighted to give his backing to a prominent fundraising event.

Addressing diners in his programme notes, he said: “The Curry Lunch is a major contributor to the support of our veterans, both Regulars and Reservists.

“I first attended the lunch in 2016, and was left in no doubt as to the scale of the support for this event and the enthusiasm of the committee, sponsors, livery companies and ward clubs.

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General Sir Mike Jackson, president of ABF The Soldiers’ Charity met with HRH The Duke of Sussex. Photo by Helen Abraham

“The return to civilian life is not always easy, either for veterans or for their families, and anything that can be done to make this transition easier is very much welcomed.”

Fundraising at the latest instalment of the lunch helped push the total raised since its inception over the £2million mark.

This year’s lunch also supported King Edward VII’s Hospital’s Centre for Veterans’ Health, which has developed and tested a six-month Pain Management Programme specifically for veterans.

Co-chairman and founder of the event, Michael Hockney MBE, said the generosity of guests can help make all the difference.

“I would like to thank our hardworking committee members, many of whom have been involved since the lunch’s inception in 2008. They all contribute in different ways to ensure the success of the lunch.”

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Prince Harry with Michael Hockney. Photo by Helen Abraham