International Center for Research on Women staged their annual award ceremony at Banqueting House Whitehall. The organisation honoured three global leaders for their achievements in advancing the rights of women and girls worldwide. Recipients, who received their awards from HRH Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, were the Rt Hon William Hague, HRH Princess Mabel van Oranje and Monique Villa CEO of Thomson Reuters.
It has been my privilege to act as Toastmaster for many years at this annual award ceremony to an internationally-renowned statesman or stateswoman. For 2013, the winner Hillary Rodham Clinton received the award from HRH the Duke of York in the magnificent setting of Banqueting House Whitehall.
Among the many distinguished guests (including former US President Bill Clinton), was our Foreign Secretary Rt Hon William Hague who made a witty reference to Toastmasters as he acknowledged the importance of our role in this tongue-in-cheek extract from his speech: “It has been great to see Hillary enjoying the dinner tonight particularly taken with the fact that everybody does exactly as they are told by men in red coats who are around the room. This is what you went to a great deal of trouble in the United States to get away from in the 1770’s but we’re still enjoying it here in the United Kingdom. At this site, (Banqueting House) where just outside this window in 1649 our forebears executed the King no less, you might think this is a building for Republicans but actually tonight it is home to a very special Democrat instead.” I love my job and on occasions such as these, you can see why.
???????? ?????????, ???? ??????????? ??????????, ???? ??????????????????, ???????, ???? ? ???????
(Mr President, Your Royal Highness, Your Excellencies, My Lords, Ladies and Gentlemen)
Richard the Toastmaster at Russian event in Kensington Palace
On June 10th, I had the honour of acting as Toastmaster at a prestigious dinner in Kensington Palace. The event, hosted by HRH Prince Michael of Kent was held to promote awareness of Sambo, a martial art whose genesis is from judo in Russia and is hoped to become a new Olympic sport. President Putin is firmly in support of its status elevation and he delivered a personal message read out by the Russian Ambassador.
Among the guests were prominent Russian politicians, athletes and personalities. All announcements and speeches required consecutive translation by interpreters. This was the first time I had ‘heard myself’ in Russian and I must say how impressive my words sounded!
The London Toastmaster’s Favourite Venue: Syon House
Sitting in a 200 acre park, Syon House is the London home of the Duke of Northumberland, whose family have lived there for over 400 years. Originally the site of a medieval abbey, it was dissolved by Henry VIII in 1539.
The Estate became Crown property and eventually into the possession of Henry Percy, 9th Earl of Northumberland whose family has lived at Syon ever since.
Today, as well as a home and visitor attraction, Syon Park, with its House and Grand Conservatory is a wonderful venue in which to entertain on a lavish scale, just like the Duke?s ancestors would have done. It is a perfect place for wedding receptions, dinners, parties and as a film location. It is one of my favourite venues for style, elegance and scenery.
I hope this short presentation conveys Syon?s magic, brought to life by the talented and extraordinary photography of Aljosa Videtic.
Need A Toastmaster
If you thinking of hiring a toastmaster then call Richard today on 0207 730 3725 to check his availability. Take a look at the venues Richard has worked at, is your here?
I recently acted as Master of Ceremonies at a birthday party held at Claridge’s where the theme was ‘Burlesque’, this being an exotic interpretation of musical theatre incorporating exaggeration, parody, tease and titillation. The evening’s cabaret featured the ‘Sophistication Dancers’, two of whom can be seen here with me ready to greet the guests. The colours of our respective uniforms co-ordinate well, don’t you think?
Need A Master of Ceremonies For a Birthday Party?
If you are looking to add that extra “little something” to enhance a birthday party, why not hire a Master of Ceremonies, such as Richard Birtchnell. Call him on 0207 730 3725 today to check his availability.
Photo: Courtesy Mike Daines Photography.
Awards Are Good For Your Health
The prestigious Prix Gallien awards, staged by WG Consulting ,held at the House of Commons are for innovations in the pharmaceutical industry for which I have officiated as Toastmaster over the last eight years. During that time, the Rt Hon Andrew Lansley has been acting as either Health Secretary or its Shadow and involved in the presentations and ceremonies during the event. ?Now, even in his new role as Leader of the House and technically no longer engaged in the business of Health, he was warmly applauded as he was invited by the organisers to make a speech.
Photo by Neil Denham
The Houses of Parliament and The London Toastmaster
I could never get bored nor blas? about working in the Palace of Westminster, the iconic Houses of Parliament that feature on every tourist?s itinerary, the home of our democracy at the heart of our capital. For over ten years, I have acted there at many receptions, ceremonies and banquets and I am constantly aware of the special privilege it confers upon me as I carry out my duties. These latest pictures are from a recent event to celebrate East End Foods Ltd 40th anniversary and I am grateful to their principals and the photographer Adam Hollingworth.
As the international icon of democracy and peaceful resistance to oppressive rule, Aung San Suu Kyi was awarded the Prize by Her Majesty the Queen in December 2011 and HE Madeleine Albright, US Secretary of State (1997-2001) accepted the Prize on her behalf. I was privileged to be the Toastmaster at this event. We hope that the Burmese heroine will be able to collect the award personally on her visit to London this June.
Chatham House, otherwise known as the Royal Institute of International Affairs, awarded its prestigious Chatham House Prize for 2010 to His Excellency President Abdullah G?l of Turkey. Her Majesty The Queen as Patron presented the award and former Prime Minister the Rt Hon Sir John Major, as President acted as host. This splendid event was held at Banqueting House Whitehall Palace. I made announcements and guided the principals.
Photography is by Matt Link.
The London Toastmaster?and The Wedding Ideas Awards 2010
The Wedding Ideas Awards are the UK’s only wedding industry awards voted for by real brides and on 22nd January 2010 ?the winners were announced at a ceremony and celebratory lunch held at the Andaz Hotel, Liverpool Street. Guest presenter was TV personality Jenni Falconer and I had the honour of being the Toastmaster/MC. During the afternoon guests were delighted with a cabaret performed by ‘Incognito’ who were truly wonderful. The three singers pose as guests, then develop an excuse to get up and sing classical arias, to everybody’s surprise. I have seen many surprise tenors and divas acts, but these were the best and I highly recommend them – check out their website at www.incognitoartists.com and for further information about Wedding Ideas and how to get your copy, go to www.weddingideasmag.com or better still, pop into your newsagent!