The Prince of Wales met the Prince of football Thierry Henry on Wednesday, ahead of an inspirational awards show to celebrate young people helped by his Trust. Charles chatted to the former France and Arsenal star as he joined Prince’s Trust ambassadors including Gemma Arterton, Claudia Winkleman, Phillip Schofield and Emilia Fox for the annual Celebrate Success Awards at the London Palladium. The heir to the throne also caught up with Ant and Dec, who presented the show and last year made a documentary about the Trust to mark its 40th anniversary.
There was plenty of banter from the TV duo on stage, where they were introduced as Anthony McPartlin OBE and Declan Donnelly OBE. Referring to their new titles, Dec said: “That OBE sounds good, doesn’t it?” When TV presenter Jenni Falconer presented the Educational Achiever Awards, she asked the audience: “Did any of you struggle with homework?” Ant chimed in: “Dec has never done homework in his life – we’re from Byker Grove!”
Radio 1 DJ Nick Grimshaw, who was presenting the award Boeing Enterprise Award, said: “It’s my first time here so thanks to the Prince’s Trust and the Prince of Wales for having me. It’s the best awards show I’ve been to since I saw Lady Gaga live, in the flesh, in the meat dress. That was good, but this is better. It doesn’t smell of bacon.”
Thierry Henry, who presented the Mappin & Webb Young Ambassador of the Year award, said he had been asked to become a Trustee for the charity a year ago, adding: “Without any hesitation I said yes. As a trustee you have to sit on the board and they started to talk about finance and they might as well have talked to me in Chinese. It was very far out of my comfort zone. But then I realised what I was involved in. For me one of the most important things that those young guys are doing, they are inspiring me in so many ways.
"I’m still trying to find out who I am, we all have our dark side, I’m sure you guys do too?" he said, turning to Ant and Dec. Ant replied in mock horror: “Why are you looing at me?” Thierry continued: “With the help of the Prince’s Trust they have been helped to live above their dark side. You never get rid of your dark side but you learn how to live above it and master it. So for me, that has been an inspiration throughout the year.”
Among the winners was Michelle Brown, who was sexually abused from the age of eight but has overcome her problems to work in stewarding at Southampton FC. She said: “I went off the rails a bit and got into trouble with the police. I needed help and support and I was a bit lost.”
Describing how the Prince’s Trust stepped in to help her, she said: “I worked on channelling all my aggression and bad thoughts into something good. The Prince’s Trust has given me my life back and made me have a future that I never thought was possible.”
There were musical performances from the stars of the West End show School of Rock and X Factor winner Matt Terry, who sang his hit Writing’s on the Wall and a cover of Prince’s Purple Rain.