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HRH The Duke of Edinburgh hosts children's charity reception at Buckingham Palace

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His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh has welcomed 130 guests to a royal reception at Buckingham Palace in aid of children’s charity Action Medical Research.

The Duke of Edinburgh, Patron of the UK-wide charity, hosted the Reception in the palace’s picture gallery on Wednesday, 15 March. Guests included medical professionals, scientists, major donors and corporate supporters.

Those in attendance heard speeches from His Royal Highness and Professor Andrew George MBE, Brunel University. Professor George, former Chair of Action Medical Research’s Scientific Advisory Panel, spoke about the importance of medical research and the impact of the charity’s work saving and changing the lives of sick and disabled babies and children.

Researchers representing six separate studies funded by Action from across the UK also displayed details of their charity funded research to guests.

Professor Nigel Klein and Dr Patricia Hunter, of of UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, displayed details of their research into predicting premature birth, the leading cause of death among children under five years of age across the world.1 Tragically, over 1,000 babies die in the UK each year after being born too soon.2-4 Babies who survive a very early birth are at risk of developing lifelong problems such as cerebral palsy, blindness and learning difficulties.

Professor Klein and his team are developing a new diagnostic test – which detects white blood cells at the cervix – that would be suitable for widespread use early in pregnancy to predict which women are at risk of premature birth.

Also sharing information on their research with the Duke of Edinburgh and his guests were:

  • Dr Antonio Valentin, Kings College London – Epilepsy: treatment with electrical stimulation
  • Professor John Anderson, UCL Great Ormond Street  Institute of Child Health – Neuroblastoma: cellular immunotherapy
  • Dr Apostolos Papandreou and Dr Robin Ketteler, University College London – Neurodegenerative disorders with brain iron accumulation: finding new treatments
  • Professor Katya Rubia, Kings College London – ADHD: treatment with brain stimulation
  • Dr Matthias Zilbauer, University of Cambridge – Inflammatory bowel disease in children: predicting disease severity

“We are delighted and honoured that His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh hosted another Reception for the charity, celebrating its 65th anniversary this year,” says Luke Bordewich, Action Medical Research Trustee.

“The Duke of Edinburgh has been the Patron of Action Medical Research since 1955 and we are so grateful for his continued support. We really value events like the Royal Reception as they provide us with an opportunity to show how important Action’s work is for babies, children and young people.”

For 65 years Action Medical Research has helped pioneer treatments and ways to prevent disease that have benefited millions of people in the UK and across the world. Research they’ve funded has helped to beat polio in the UK, develop ultrasound in pregnancy, fight meningitis and prevent stillbirths.


Action Medical Research is currently funding research into premature birth, meningitis, Down syndrome and epilepsy, as well as some rare and distressing conditions that severely affect children. For more details on the UK-wide children’s charity, please visit

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To download high-res images of His Royal Highness and researchers and guests at the event, click on the links below (please credit Colin Baldwin):

The Duke of Edinburgh:

Andrew George and Luke Bordewich:

Professor Klein and Dr Patricia Hunter:


1. WHO Preterm birth. Fact sheet No 363. Updated November 2015. Website accessed 03 August 2016.

2. Office for National Statistics. Childhood mortality in England and Wales 2014. Table 6. Website accessed 03 August 2016

3. Northern Ireland Statistics and Research agency. Registrar General Annual Report 2014 – Section 4 Stillbirths and Infant Deaths (Excel files) Table 4.5. Website accessed 03 August 2016.

4. National Records for Scotland. Vital Events Reference Tables 2014. Section 4: Stillbirths and infant deaths. Table 4.5: Infant deaths, by sex and cause, Scotland, 2004 to 2014. Website accessed 03 August 2016


For more information on Action Medical Research, contact Toni Slater, Interim Fundraising Communications Officer, on:
T: 01403 327480

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Action Medical Research is a leading UK-wide charity saving and changing children’s lives through medical research. For 65 years we’ve helped pioneer ways to prevent disease and develop treatments benefiting millions of people. Our research has helped to beat polio in the UK, develop ultrasound in pregnancy, fight meningitis and prevent stillbirths. But we urgently need to develop more new treatments and cures for sick babies and children and we can’t do it without you.

Join our fight for little lives today.

Charity reg. nos 208701 and SC039284.