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  5. RNID chosen as charitable beneficiary for the Royal Gala Dinner, to honour HRH the Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

RNID chosen as charitable beneficiary for the Royal Gala Dinner, to honour HRH the Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

RNID has been chosen as the charitable beneficiary, for the Royal Gala Dinner, Annual Art Exhibition; and ‘Prince Philip Philanthropy Prize’; an annual international initiative, founded on 10th June 2021, to commemorate the day that would have been HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh’s 100th birthday, and the RNID’s 110th founding anniversary.

RNID, the national charity making life fully inclusive for deaf people and those with hearing loss or tinnitus, is delighted to have been chosen as the official beneficiary of funds raised from this newly formed annual Royal Gala Dinner, Art Exhibition, and ‘Prince Philip Philanthropy Prize’; created to commemorate the birth, life and legacy of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, the former Royal Patron of the charity. His Royal Highness’ mother¹, HRH Princess Alice, a Princess of Greece and Denmark, was profoundly deaf.

The annual Royal Gala Programme of events and Prize will recognise the achievements and brilliance of people who are deaf, have hearing loss, or tinnitus, and those who have made significant breakthroughs and change for RNID’s communities, by awarding them with the “The Prince Phillip Philanthropy Prize”.

To be held in Athens each year, the event is the initiative of HH Princess Rostislav Romanov² working together with the RNID Founder’s great grandson, Special Envoy Philip Bonn, of the International Emergency Management Organisation, a United Nations Intergovernmental Organisation., based in Europe.

Her Highness Princess Rostislav Romanov will chair the Royal Gala International Council, whose President will be Special Envoy Philip Bonn (also an ITPC Commissioner; and the Director-General of World of Hope International, Special Consultative Status to United Nations ECOSOC) Philip’s great grandfather, RNID Founder, Benefactor and first President, Leo Bernard William Bonn, of Newbold Revel (1850-1929) became deaf in his fifties, founding what became the RNID, in the ballroom at Bonn House, in Mayfair on 9th June 1911. He called together a group of Peers, Philanthropists and international figures at a legendary meeting which he himself, chaired.³

The Royal Gala Dinner Vice -Chair will be the respected Greek art dealer and art history scholar, Miss Maria Migadi, and the Council will also feature other key Greek figures, the announcement of whose names is to follow, in due course. The first Royal Gala event will take place in Athens, in June 2022.

RNID CEO, Mark Atkinson said;

“We’re proud to have had Prince Philip as our Patron and this Royal Programme and Prize, held in His Royal Highness’s birthplace of Greece, is a great way to continue marking the good work being done. It’s a privilege to be announcing this on what would have been His Royal Highness’s

100th birthday; and that the Prince’s legacy will thus carry on through this event and continue to celebrate the amazing achievements within our communities.”

RNID is thrilled to be chosen, and we are excited that the work Leo started over 110 years ago will continue through the works in the 4th generation, of Leo’s great grandson, Special Envoy and ITPC Commissioner Philip Bonn, the former RNID Centenary Director, and current RNID Special Adviser (who also attended HRH Prince Philip’s 2011 RNID Reception at Buckingham Palace) through co-founding this Royal Gala Programme and the ‘Prince Philip Philanthropy Prize’, today, on the 100th Anniversary of the birth of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.


1] She founded a Greek Orthodox Order of Sisters, The Christian Sisterhood of Martha and Mary, while living in war-torn Athens.

His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh was the Royal Patron of the RNID, for over 50 years. His Royal Highness was born in Greece, on 10th June 1921 on the island of Corfu. His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales and Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall travelled to Greece earlier this year (24th-25th March) at the invitation of the Prime Minister of Greece, Mr Kyriakos Mitsotakis, in order to celebrate the Bi-Centenary of Greek Independence.

2] Born Miss Foteini Maria Christina Georganta, of the distinguished perfumery company, founded in 1864, by Her Highness’s ancestor, Mr Philippos Georgantas.

3] Leo Bonn lived at the Georgian country houses of Wotton House, in Buckinghamshire and at Newbold Revel, Warwickshire, and is buried nearby to his estate at Saint Edith’s Church, Monks Kirby.

In the first decade of the 1900s, Leo Bernard William Bonn, a philanthropist and successful banker with hearing loss, decided to use his wealth to improve the lives of those who were deaf, or had hearing loss. Leo saw the need for a new, national organization, to coordinate activities so that more people could be helped. His aims were ambitious; to support and care for people with hearing loss; to educate those at risk of damaging their hearing; and to raise awareness of how isolating hearing loss can be. His son, in the 2nd generation Major Walter Basil Louis Bonn, DSO, MC, was a War Hero of the Great War and later served as a Trustee and Vice Chair of what became the RNID. In the 3rd generation Major Walter Bonn’s two sons, Judge Michael Walter Bonn, Kt. SMOM (1927-1997) and Major Christopher Leslie Leo Bonn, ADC (1928-2008) were Chair of the Founder’s Family Trust, and an Adviser to the RNID, respectively, both being present for the unveiling for the Royal Plaque to the RNID Founder at Bonn House, Mayfair, on 9th June 1998.

For media enquiries or comment

Andie Hill, PR Manager, telephone: 0203 227 6065 or email andie.hill@rnid.org.uk or prteam@rnid.org.uk

Notes to Editors 

  • RNID is the national charity making life fully inclusive for deaf people and those with hearing loss or tinnitus. 
  • Read about our history and our founder, Leo Bonn
  • The Imperial house of Romanov and our own Royal Family are closely related.
  • HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh was the grandnephew of HIM Tsarina
  • Alexandra, Nicholas II’s Consort – and the last Tsarina of Russia.
  • HRH Prince Philip was also the great-great-grandson of HIM Tsar Nicholas I – Tsar of Russia (1825-1855)
  • When HIM Tsar Nicholas II, and his Family’s burial site were discovered in the 1990s, HRH Prince Philip’s DNA and blood were used along with that of HH Princess Rostislav Romanov’s father-in-law, the late Prince Rostislav Romanov (1938-1999), to help confirm the identity of the remains recovered.
  • HRH Prince Michael of Kent, whose grandmother was HIM Tsar Nicholas II’s cousin, is also a descendant of the Imperial House of Romanov.
  • Currently, one in five adults in the UK have a form of hearing loss. One in eight people have tinnitus. 
  • RNID was founded in 1911. For more than 100 years the charity has pioneered new treatments for hearing loss and tinnitus. It has promoted access to sign language and subtitles, brought in free hearing tests for new-born babies, worked with technology for cochlear implants and developed techniques to help people cope with tinnitus.  
  • We’re a collective force campaigning for an inclusive society. We make deaf people, and those with hearing loss and tinnitus, part of the conversation to drive change – and help friends and families, workplaces and communities stay connected. We’re a trusted source of practical advice and we pioneer new treatments for hearing loss and tinnitus. We’ve been around for over 100 years and, until everyone is 100% included, we’re here to stay. 
  • Our Infoline offers free confidential and impartial information on a range of subjects related to hearing loss and tinnitus. It is open between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. Call: 0808 808 0123. Live chat and a BSL infoline is available on our website. 
  • Visit our website for more information and support on all topics that deaf people or those with hearing loss or tinnitus face.