HRH The Princess Royal
The Princess Royal is the second child and only daughter of The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh. She was born at Clarence House, London, on 15 August 1950. The Princess Royal has been the Royal Patron of Blond McIndoe since 2007 and continues the line of Royal patronage from her late Grandmother The Queen Mother.
The Princess Royal has been an active and engaged patron, attending many key events including the unveiling of the McIndoe memorial in 2015.
Son of Neville Blond OBE, Peter now heads the line of Blond family support for Blond McIndoe.
Peter has a long standing association with motorsport, most notably racing various iconic Jaguars through the 1950s, competing at Le Mans in 1959 and regularly frequenting the challenging Goodwood circuit.
In 2006 he took part in the Louis Vuitton Boheme Run from Budapest to Prague in a 1931 Rolls Royce raising over £31,000 for Blond McIndoe and in 2011 Peter raised over £50,000 for us.
In 2012 Peter addressed the audience of the Blond McIndoe Award for Overcoming Adversity and reminded them of the important work carrried out by Sir Archibald, his father Neville and stepmother Elaine.
'My father and my step mother made a pretty formidable couple! Just before war was declared, Elaine had proved herself with the organization of Kinder Transport bringing 10 thousand Jewish children out of Berlin to London over 10 weeks, where hostels and care were organized by her amazing committee. Virginia and I went to Buckingham Palace after the war where she was decorated by the Queen.
But it was Archie McIndoe who really inspired them throughout the war, and following his death in 1960 they vowed to create the finest burns unit in Europe in his name. The McIndoe Burns Unit was opened in 1963 designed, built and equipped by the family and given to the NHS to run at a cost of some £300,000.
Before he died however Archie had stressed to my father the need to develop research going beyond the routines that he’s so successfully developed during the war – to progress science into micro-surgery, stem cell development for skin, eye surgery and much more hence Blond McIndoe Research Foundation was opened in 1961.
What has been rewarding for both original families is the continuity of interest and commitment of the next generation. Archie’s daughter Vanora adored her ‘pigs’ as she called them, worked tirelessly for the RAF benevolent fund and chaired Blond McIndoe, she was awarded MBE for her efforts, she really was a wonder. Her children Nicholas and Lolly are still connected with the centre, as are Adonia's.
My late dear step-sister Simone, Elaine’s younger daughter who died so recently also chaired Blond McIndoe for many years with both style and distinction. I well remember my first committee meeting when we were about to have a film presentation. ‘Peter’ said Elaine – I stiffened in the anticipation of being asked my views on an important point ‘you may draw the curtains!’
I suppose it was a start, it is also true to say, you never stop attempting to prove yourself in the eyes of your parents long after they have gone'.
Sir Ranulph Fiennes
The World’s Greatest Living explorer, Sir Ranulph has spent over 30 years leading expeditions and breaking world records with his endeavours.
He was born in 1944 and brought up in South Africa then moved back to the UK to study at Eton. After failing his A levels he joined The Royal Scots Greys and then the SAS becoming the youngest captain in the British Army.
After leaving the armed forces his need for adventure led him to undertake a number of risky expeditions to remote parts of the globe. This has included:
The Transglobe expedition 1979-1982
The first unsupported walk across the Antarctic in 1993
Summiting Mount Everest in 2009
Sir Ranulph is also a well regarded author writing a number of bestselling books with one them recently being adapted into a Hollywood film. His activities have been rewarded with many awards from a variety of institutions, and include:
Doctorates from at least 7 Universities
Royal Geographic Society’s Founder's Medal
Officer of the Order of the British Empire
Polar Medal for "outstanding service to British Polar exploration and research."
In October 2007, Sir Ranulph was ranked 94th in a list of the "Top 100 living geniuses" published by The Daily Telegraph and in 2007 received the ITV Greatest Briton Award for Sport.
Amanda is one of the UK’s best loved actors, appearing in film, television and stage, ranging from period dramas to comedies, gangster films to Shakespeare, her most recent work has been on BBC1 with The Good Karma Hospital. When Amanda was 15 months old she was accidently scalded in the kitchen with a pan of boiling soup an treated at Queen Victoria Hospital East Grinstead.
Amanda has supported Blond McIndoe in the past by helping to raise our profile through appearing in films, TV, by allowing us to use her story for our website and attending events and actively supporting our scarring study.
Simon Weston OBE
Simon was born in Caerphilly, South Wales in 1961. He grew up in Nelson, a small village in the Borough of Caerphilly and joined the Welsh guards aged 17 in 1978. He spent time in Northern Ireland, Kenya and Berlin, where he once undertook guard duty at Spandau prison containing Nazi war criminal Rudolph Hess.
In 1982 with the outbreak of the Falklands War Simon was shipped out on the QE2 as part of a mortar platoon with his regiment. They landed at San Carlos (the main British Army Bridgehead during the war) on the 31st May.
What would happen a few days later onboard Sir Galahad, would change the lives of Simon and his comrades forever when they were struck by a bomb dropped by an Argentinian warplane.
Simon has continued to use his story and experiences to help others. This includes becoming a patron of Blond McIndoe.
Simon also ran his own youth charity 'Weston Spirit' between 1988 and 2008. In 1992 he was awarded an OBE for his charity work in the Queen’s birthday honours list. In 2009 he agreed to be President Elect of the Welsh Scout Council.
He has been the face of a number of television documentaries on the Falklands, and a commentator on many news stories. Simon has often been in the media supporting British troops to make sure they receive the support they deserve either in conflicts or when in need of medical treatment.