Sarah Brown makes cross-Channel dash to attend charity ball with JK Rowling

The Prime Minister's wife hot-footed it from the D-Day celebrations in France, where she'd been supporting her husband, to London – where she joined the Harry Potter author at a star-studded gala
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 Photo: © Rex

It was a night filled with memorable moments as high-profile Brits gathered on the lawns of London's Hampton Court Palace for a fundraising evening of entertainment.

The first came from Prime Minister Gordon Brown's wife Sarah, who made a cross-Channel dash from the D-Day celebrations on a Normandy beach to attend the ball. The 45-year-old, on faultless form in a deep purple gown, was spotted chatting to Harry Potter author JK Rowling.

Doing her bit for the good causes which benefited from Saturday night's event, JK got bidding during the charity auction. The author of the boy wizard novels shelled out £12,000 for a dance with Little Britain funnyman David Walliams

Money raised at Saturday night's event – it topped £1.5 million – will be split between the Raisa Gorbachev Foundation, which helps children with cancer and is named after former Soviet leader Mikhall Gorbachev's wife, and Marie Curie Cancer Care.

Other guests at the gala included engaged couple Sophie Dahl and Jamie Cullum, and Vanessa Redgrave, making one of her first public appearances at a social event since the death of her daughter Natasha Richardson following a skiing accident in March.

Simon Le Bon and his model wife Yasmin were also enjoying the entertainment, which was provided bya team of Cossack dancers and a group of synchronised swimmers performing in a natural pool in the grounds.

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