Prince Charles was greeted by vibrant African dancing – and Scottish artist Annie Lennox – at an event to raise funds for Zimbabwe.
He smiled warmly as the Zambezi Express drummers and dancers performed on arrival at Claridge’s in central London for the event organised by The Aid to Zimbabwe Trust.
And the Prince met David Cameron’s new communications chief Craig Oliver at the event for the first time since his appointment.
Eurythmics star Annie Lennox, who was wearing a dark green dress at the fundraiser, performed “Universal Child”, “There Must Be An Angel” and “Little Bird” in front of the Prince.
She was later seen chatting to him.
The Aid to Zimbabwe Trust set up in 2007 by Ian and Elsie Oliver to help prevent and relieve poverty, advance education and healthcare and assist the disadvantaged in the African country.
Scottish performer Annie said: ‘It’s a great honour and privilege to be invited to perform for The Aid to Zimbabwe Trust, who are doing some wonderful work in a country that needs so much support, in so many ways. My performance tonight is my way of making a contribution.’
The 56-year-old will also visit Malawi, Africa, this week to develop and enhance the country’s links with Scotland.
She added: ‘To have the opportunity to travel to Malawi to meet individuals and groups and help to encourage them to find ways of breaking down stigma, increase access to treatment, and improve prevention initiatives is a real, real honour for me.’
Guy Oliver, chairman of last night’s event, said: ‘My mother and father went to Zimbabwe 20 years ago and fell in love with the country. They started helping with small projects and it grew. This is the first big event to raise money for capital projects.’
Proceeds will go to support projects such as the restoration and refurbishment of the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, the Harare City Library and smaller community based health and education programmes.
Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, said the event was about helping to reduce poverty in the African country.
‘The charity is trying to lift some of our children out of poverty. Seeing them perform tonight is fantastic. They come from Harare, it’s not an easy place, but the spirit is not broken. It has the ability to rise above its problems.
‘I am sure the Prince understands the work of the Trust in trying to give children a future.’
The Deputy Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, Thokozani Khupe, who was at the event, said: ‘This fundraising dinner is going to provide great assistance. The proceeds will go towards education and health which is a major challenge right now.