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Woodside, Old Windsor
26 June 2008, 7:00pm
Woodside, Old Windsor, England - For the tenth consecutive year, Sir Elton John and David Furnish threw open the gates to their country estate and welcomed a glittering guest list to Old Windsor for the legendry White Tie and Tiara Ball. Once again we are indebted to our fabulous sponsors who make all this possible and ensure that EVERY PENNY RAISED on the evening goes to the Foundation. This year’s sponsors includeChopard and our media sponsor OK! Magazine, who have both supported us every year since our very first ball, along with longstanding supportersAudi, Grey Goose and Jo & Raffy Manoukian. We also appreciate the help of our Official Airline: Air Franceand Official Hotel: InterContinental London Park Lane.
The event was a star studded occasion with celebrity guests – many of whom dazzled in Chopard jewels on the turquoise carpet. Guests included Bill Clinton & Chelsea Clinton, Will Smith & Jada Pinkett Smith, Brian Wilson, Mario Testino, Denzel Washington, Uma Thurman, Caroline Gruosi-Scheufele, Eva Herzigova, Nathalie Imbruglia, Zhang Ziyi, Elle McPherson, Elizabeth Hurley, Mischa Barton, Naomi Campbell, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Reena Hammer, Penny Lancaster, Kimberley Stewart, Ruby Stewart, Donna Airm Jemima Khan, Kelly Osbourne, Petra Nemecova, Agyness Deyn, Natalia Vodianova, David Coultard, David Walliams, Jolie Richardson, Gordon and Tana Ramsey, Amy Sacco and Roberto Cavalli.
Upon arrival guests followed an enchanting Chopard walkway through a tree-lined avenue where they were surrounded by hundreds of carats of diamonds dramatically displayed en route to the Italian Terrace and gardens where a truly magical evening began. The “Woodside Beach Club” theme for this year’s White Tie & Tiara Ball saw the grounds of the Windsor mansion transformed into an exclusive California style resort complete with its own lakeside white sandy beach where models wearing Chopard sunglasses, Elizabeth Hurley Beach swimwear and Jimmy Choos sunned themselves on luxurious recliners whilst a stunning diving display took place from the centre of the water. The “Woodside Beach Club” also boasted its own “muscle beach” of bodybuilders pumping iron, a courtyard of incredible Chopard ice sculptures, a surfside hippy camp, a customised VW campervan-come-psychedelic DJ booth, and a lavish bar serving four exotic Grey Goose martinis created by David Furnish especially for the occasion.Dinner was served in a spectacular marquee featuring an aquarium bar and an incredible sunset backdrop which gradually developed in real-time throughout the evening on a 40 Metre wide panoramic screen before eventually progressing into a stunning star-lit night. Guests dined amidst lavender and sand filled storm candles and enjoyed a lavish menu of: Oscietra caviar, camomile tea smoked fish and duck egg tart with avocado and parsley purees, Stone black bass with a warm salad of new potatoes, raw artichokes, fava beans shaved shallots, red and yellow tomatoes, liliput capers and pea veloute, “Californian Gold Rush” chocolate blackout cake with smooth milk chocolate mousse masked in rich dark chocolate, wrapped in gold leaf with golden nugetts and malted milk cream quarters.
After dinner Sir Elton John spoke with great passion about the work of the Elton John AIDS Foundation and all it had achieved over the last ten years. He then introduced surprise guest speaker President Bill Clinton who made a rousing speech rallying support for Sir Elton’s work in the fight against HIV and AIDS. Then came the auction which included a dinner party hosted by Bill Clinton at Gordon Ramsey’s new restaurant in New York, a private sitting with Mario Testino, and a trip to see the work of the Foundation with Elton and David which was eventually sold for £1million – the first time ever that a lot has broken into seven figures! Then as a spontaneous lot Sir Elton John stood up and offered the chance to provide him with a lyric to which he will then write the accompanying melody and record the song, providing the bidder with the master copy. This incredible opportunity finally went to the top bidder for £1.3million!Following on from the auction guests were then treated to a one-off live performance by Sir Elton John and Brian Wilson performing The Beach Boys hits before everyone hit the dance floor and partied the rest of the night away!
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