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And he used to be such a nice, quiet boy

Sarah Ezekiel: The fight continues

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Fundrasier.. friend of royalty... whatever..

Fundrasier.. friend of royalty... whatever..

It has been a while since I have caught up with Sarah Ezekiel, but she isn’t a lady to let the grass grow under her feet.  Since our last visit she has been shocking the hell out of cinema goers who have actually wanted her advert banned.  Newspapers (and one or two bloggers) have been queuing up for quotes on the controversial debate over the right to die.

But best of all, she has been to a Buckingham Palace Garden party, where she met the Queen, Prince Phillip and the Duke and Dutchess of Cornwall.  She moves in some glamourous circles these days.

So what was it like at Buckingham Palace Sarah?

I was invited to the Garden Party by Donna Cresswell at the MND Association back in February and was absolutely thrilled.   I knew immediately that I should ask  Ruth.  She is the sister I never had.

Outfit and hat hunting started in about March and wasn’t easy! The official invitation from the Lord Chamberlain arrived in June and I knew that I wasn’t dreaming. I’m not really a Royalist but love the history and enjoy reading about past monarchs. I feel honoured to have been invited and to have the experience of attending a Royal Garden Party.

So the big day eventually arrived and I felt excited and nervous. Ruth arrived and we both couldn’t believe that two East End girls were going to have tea at the Palace. Cameras are not allowed inside so my carer took some photos at home before we set off. We had been hoping for good weather but got heavy showers; this is England! I forgot the rain cover for my computer and told Ruth not to take her umbrella because we had raincoats…. BIG MISTAKE!

We were quickly through security and inside the vast Palace gardens. Everyone looked amazing, the women in beautiful outfits/hats and some of the men in uniform or top hats and tails. There were also people in their National dress which was fascinating to see. There were a couple of bands playing lovely music so we sat under a tree to listen. We were joined by Martin Anderson MBE, who helped to found the MND Association in 1979. He is a wonderful person, who has done so much for MND sufferers, and it was a real pleasure to meet him.

There were large tents with refreshments, sandwiches and cakes. We waited for the Queen to arrive and take tea in the Royal tent. It was raining and we needed an umbrella (sorry Ruth!) and a kind lady let us borrow hers. Then we spoke to MP, Lembit Opik, before waiting near the entrance to meet the Royal Family. Wheelchair users only; disability does have some advantagesOne of the Royal horsemen standing behind us kindly sheltered us under his brolly. He told us that all of the Royal horses have a six week holiday in the country every summer, lucky them!

Then the Queen arrived and I managed to say ‘thank you very much for inviting me today Your Majesty’, on my computer. She smiled broadly and said ‘how sweet’. Prince Phillip said hello and then we spoke to Princess Anne who asked where we were from. I was now covered by Ruth’s and my raincoat and she said how well prepared I was. If only she knew….

Prince Charles stopped to talk for longer than the others and I was really impressed by him. It was only general chat but he seemed genuinely interested. Then we spoke to Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Princess Alexandra and Lady Ogilvy. They were all very kind and polite and I was very pleased to have met them all. I could get used to a Royal lifestyle!

Just popped in for tea and a natter with the Queen

Just popped in for tea and a natter with the Queen

Away from the place Sarah has been busy lending her voice to the debate over the right to die.  While many people feel they have the right if they are terminally ill, to a swift end.   Sarah is a reminder that you also have a right to live, and perhaps a duty to do so with courage.

Sarah featured in a short advert that was to raise awareness for Motor Neuron Disease.  When it was shown in cinemas it set out to shock, and it certainly did.  They received five complaints.   When it came to showing the 90-second advert on TV, it was turned down, as it was considered too harrowing.

Clearcast, the television watchdog is quoted as saying that:

“Even good-cause advertising is capable of causing widespread general offence.  We felt the level and amount of distressing and disturbing images went too far for television broadcast, even late at night.”

So I will show you the advert and you can tell me what you think.

To read more about Sarah and follow her charity please follow this link:


Written by Nick Gilmartin

July 28, 2009 at 4:54 pm

One Response

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  1. The key point to note in the censors’ response to the video is where they find offense.
    It is NOT in the violent way that ALS attacks the actress/pALS.
    It is NOT in the stripping away of most of her clothing.
    Should Sarah and the director/producer agree to take out any scene showing Sarah’s limbs, they agree to show the PSA on TV.
    Think about it. If Sarah goes out with a sleeveless top and shorts or short skirt, she exposes her “offensive” limbs to the general public, including (gasp!) children.
    We have a very clear case of discrimination from the censors, and I believe that there must be a regulation regarding TV adverts that precludes such discrimination.
    Meantime, public interest has been generated, the UK cinemas are showing the advert, we can view the video on the internet, and so the message spreads, as is often the case when anything is banned.
    Sarah, you go, girl!!

    Mary Jo

    July 29, 2009 at 3:06 pm

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