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Rita Ora joins Prince Harry for duke's glamorous Sentebale charity concert

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 12/06/2019 Robert Jobson Royal Editor
a group of people looking at each other © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited

Rita Ora has joined Prince Harry at a concert to raise funds for the duke's charity supporting children living with Aids.

The Duke of Sussex and the singer were pictured hugging at a reception ahead of the glamorous event, which was hosted by the royal’s charity Sentebale.

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Pop sensation Ora topped the bill at the Sentebale Audi Concert at Hampton Court Palace, south-west London, on Tuesday night.

Harry left his wife Meghan and their new son Archie at home to join a 3,000-strong crowd at the bash.

a person posing for the camera: Rita Ora performs on stage at the Sentebale concert in London (REUTERS) © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited Rita Ora performs on stage at the Sentebale concert in London (REUTERS)

Organisers said the concert raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for the duke’s charity, which helps young people living with HIV and Aids in the southern African countries of Lesotho, Botswana, and Malawi.

Others who took to the stage included 2018 Britain’s Got Talent finalists B Positive Choir, London-born George the Poet, shepherd-turned musician Morena Leraba from Lesotho, and dancers performing Zulu ballet INALA.

a group of people posing for the camera: Prince Harry hugs British singer Rita Ora during a reception before the charity concert (AP) © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited Prince Harry hugs British singer Rita Ora during a reception before the charity concert (AP)

There was a glittering array of guests at the show, including actors Tom Hardy, James Norton, Gemma Arterton, and Line of Duty star Vicky McClure. Others big names there were Rosamund Pike, comedian Rory Bremner, mezzo-soprano Katherine Jenkins, choirmaster Gareth Malone, and singer Nicole Appleton.

Ora said after her meeting with the duke: "I'm so excited, a little bit of rain never really hurts anybody I'm just happy to be here and to be able support and try and raise as much awareness and money for such a great cause."

She first met Harry at BBC Radio 1's Teen Awards in 2016 and said they "It's so nice the amount of people he probably meets to remember that."

Rita Ora performs on stage during a concert hosted by Sentebale in Hampton Court Palace (PA) © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited Rita Ora performs on stage during a concert hosted by Sentebale in Hampton Court Palace (PA)

The performer who was joined by her psychiatrist mother Vera Sahatciu, added she told the duke she was "very grateful" to be asked to perform at the event.

Harry founded Sentebale along with Prince Seeiso of Lesotho in 2006 after spending a gap year in the mountain kingdom in southern Africa among some of the poorest people on Earth with one of the highest rates of HIV-Aids.

In a speech on stage he said: “I’m not going to take up too much of your time. I realise that you’re here to see Rita Ora and not me - especially you at the front."

“But I just wanted to echo what Johnny has already said and say an enormous thank you to every single one of you.

“We have managed to raise thousands - hundreds of thousands of pounds from this evening and every single one of you has played a part in that.

“So you have the ability to have an enormous amount of fun while knowing that you’ve changed a lot of lives in Lesotho, Botswana, and Malawi at the same time.

He added: "The conversation around HIV is still shrouded in stigma and stigma thrives on silence.

“We here tonight and we at Sentebale hope to empower the next generation to be able to end that stigma and to be confident enough to be able to talk about the virus that they have because it is no longer a death sentence.

“So again thank you for helping us to raise awareness of that fact.”

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