Global Gift Initiative at Althorp House

Last week, Maria Bravo held the first Global Gift Initiative at Diana Princess of Wales’ family home Althorp House in Northamptonshire, England. The event was hosted by Earl Spencer, the Princess’s younger brother for a night of philanthropy and inspiration to honour the 20th anniversary of her death in 1997.

Global gifters worldwide supported the “Walking in her shoes” exhibition and raised funds to benefit the Diana Award and the Global Gift Foundation philanthropic projects. The exhibition includes twenty works that inspired young people who have received help from The Diana Award, highlighting the impact it has had on society and the philanthropic work of the organization. Throughout the evening, there were numerous references to the spirit that characterized Princess Diana and her legacy.

On a magical and emotional night sponsored by Gyunel Couture, María Bravo thanked the initiative of the Global Gift Foundation organized by Earl Spencer and the Diana Award for its success in memory of the Princess of Wales. She said, “It is a great honour to join forces again with this amazing organization that transforms the lives of thousands of young people keeping alive the legacy of Princess Diana and her brother Earl Spencer, commemorating the 20th anniversary of her death and recalling the values that guided her way, kindness, compassion and service to others.”

Among the attendees were several regular Global gifters, including actress and activist Pamela Anderson (who proved once again her commitment to the Global Gift Foundation following her attendance at the Paris Global Gift Gala in May) and actor Craig McGinlay (who is very committed to the foundation and attended the recent Edinburgh Global Gift Gala).

The evening featured a musical programme which included tenors Remigio Pereira Group, accompanied by Michelle Palmer and Sophia Lisovskaya on piano. Also there were gospel singer Lurine Cato and member of the group the Saturdays Vanessa White, bringing a more contemporary feel.

The Global Gift Initiative involves two exhibitions that will last until the end of summer. Althorp House is home to the “Walking in her shoes” exhibition, showing fifteen emblematic and unpublished images of the Princess taken in the summer of 1997 by top photographer Mario Testino. Testino took the photographs for Vanity Fair and they turned out to be the last official portraits of the Princess.

There was a pre-dinner tour of the ninety room Althorp House which included the Saloon (where there is a large portrait of the Princess of Wales) where guests were received, the Holland Suite where a pre-dinner cocktail was served and the Great Hall where the gala dinner was held.

Tessy Ojo, Earl Spencer & Maria Bravo
Tessy Ojo, Earl Spencer & Maria Bravo

During the event, there was a charity auction that included unpublished pieces from Earl Spencer’s eulogy delivered at his sister Diana’s funeral. In addition, guests could bid for an experience at the Dubai International Film Festival accompanied by Sarah Jessica Parker and an exclusively designed piece of couture from Couture Gyunel, plus other valuables like jewellery.

CEO of the Diana Award Tessa Ojo told attendees “It is an absolute privilege to have the opportunity to celebrate this charity gala with a special exhibition at the home of Princess Diana. We are grateful to Earl Spencer for the continued support of our work. The funds raised at this event will help us to continue the work to improve opportunities for thousands of young people through our programs, including anti-bullying and mentoring.”

Maria Bravo, Craig McGinlay & Olivia Grant
Maria Bravo, Craig McGinlay & Olivia Grant

The Diana Award was created in memory of the Princess of Wales and pays tribute to her conviction that “young people have the power to change the world.” It has the support of Earl Spencer, who did not hesitate to show his commitment to the organization that bears the name of his sister. “I have always defended the Diana Award, which reflects her love for children and youth and courage in the fight for good causes – a capacity she possessed since childhood.”

The event also highlighted the close collaboration between the Diana Award and the Global Gift Foundation since 2014. María Bravo presented the “Premio Global Gift for Excellence” award for the V Edition Global Gift Gala in London for her work on behalf of children and youth. This relationship has been strengthened with different meetings that have involved the valuable presence of Prince William. British authorities had already shown their support for the foundation when, in 2015, María Bravo celebrated the sixteenth anniversary of the Diana Award at No 10 Downing Street.

The two organizations engaged in a common cause, supporting the young through actions that help improve the situation of children around the world.

Images courtesy of

Related Posts