HRH The Duchess of Cornwall helps us mark 25 years of cancer support

Friday 01 October 2021

Today Her Royal Highness visited our Edinburgh centre, meeting with supporters, Patrons and visitors.

Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall (or The Duchess of Rothesay in Scotland), today helped mark 25 years of our cancer support by visiting our first ever centre in the grounds of the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh.

This was a return visit for The Duchess who first visited the centre in 2008, shortly before becoming Our President. She was welcomed by our Chief Executive, Dame Laura Lee.

During the visit The Duchess met Maggie’s Honorary Patron and Broadcaster Kirsty Wark as well as Annemiek Hoogenboom, former country director of People’s Postcode Lottery. Thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery we have received £17.3 million to help people living with cancer over 13 years.

Lisa Stephenson and Sarah Murray were also introduced to Her Royal Highness. Both have personal experience of Maggie’s and have fundraised extensively for the centre in Edinburgh.

Her Royal Highness also met staff, volunteers and architects Richard Murphy and Tom Hetherington as well as the Young Woman’s Group where she heard how they have been supported by Maggie’s Edinburgh.

The Duchess then watched as the Nordic walking group limbered up before being shown the new garden by designer Emma Keswick, and meeting Bruce Mickel and his family and viewing the foundations of a new Garden Room being built in celebration of Bruce’s late wife.

Clarence House

Earlier this week Her Royal Highness held a celebratory reception at Clarence House to mark 25 years of our expert professional support.


In the speech she spoke of the first time she visited a centre.

The other day, I found some notes that I had for the engagement, which read: Maggie’s is welcoming, friendly and non-institutional, supporting people from the moment they ask for help, free of charge, and unconditionally for as long as help is needed… To me, that sounds like a description of a perfect friend. And of course, Maggie’s centres are perfect friends to everyone who enters their doors.

That day, in Edinburgh, it was impossible for me not to reflect on people I knew with cancer, and to wish that they had access to such a special place.

The Duchess then went on to say, thank you all so much for what you have done over the past 25 years. Now let’s press on and make sure that we have a Maggie’s centre in every major city in the UK in the next quarter of a century….

Read the full speech here

Press coverage 

The visit has been covered extensively on the BBC (from 24 minutes). 

Last week, Her Royal Highness wrote an open letter which was published in the Daily Mail.

She wrote, "We have all, in some form or another, received news of a cancer diagnosis: whether our own, or of someone we love. We have all, even if for a short time, lost the joy of living in the fear of someone dying. We have all endured the terrifying sensation of groping powerlessly in the dark for a comforting hand to guide us."

We are so grateful for the support of our President, sharing our vision that everyone needs a Maggie's.

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