On the 24th April, The Countess of Wessex attended a 20th Anniversary Reception in memory of Jill Dando at the Royal Society in London. The Countess is a former trustee of the Jill Dando Fund. Jill Wendy Dando (9 November 1961 – 26 April 1999) was a British journalist, television presenter, and newsreader who was 1997 BBC Personality of the Year. At the time of her death, she was the presenter of the BBC programme Crimewatch.
On 26 April 1999, Dando was fatally shot outside her home in Fulham, London. A local man, Barry George, was convicted and imprisoned for the murder but was later acquitted after an appeal and retrial. Jill’s case remains open. After her death, Jill’s colleague Nick Ross proposed a memorial to her in the form of a new university institution in her name.
Ross had already conceived of crime science as a new discipline which distinguished itself from criminology by focusing on crime prevention, scientific methodology and multidisciplinary approach. He and Dando’s fiancé, Alan Farthing, established the Jill Dando Fund with the help of the Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir John Stevens, the Countess of Wessex, and her family and friends.
After the Jill Dando Fund was set up, the UCL was selected to host the Jill Dando Institute. The JDI came into being on the 26th April 2001, the second anniversary of Jill Dando’s death, under the inaugural Directorship of Professor Gloria Laycock. In 2009, the Department of Security and Crime Science was established in order to facilitate the offering of post-graduate taught and research courses. The JDI is the first institute in the world devoted to crime science.
Speaking at the event, Nick Ross said:
Jill was, quite simply, the most popular woman on television, and she was a fabulous colleague. There has been a blaze of publicity this month, much about Jill’s murder, but tonight our sole purpose is to celebrate her life and her remarkable legacy; a major department in UCL, a world-class university, that bears her name.
More than a million people gave to the Jill Dando Fund 20 years ago. Their generosity has led to the creation of one of the largest academic institutions in the world devoted to crime reduction. The Jill Dando Institute for Security and Crime Science at UCL now has over 30 staff and dozens of researchers trying to forestall tomorrow’s crimes. Jill has left behind a legacy of which everyone can be proud.
For full press release about the event, click here. Daily Mail’s coverage can be found here. Hello’s coverage is here. For BBC News article from 15th March 2000 about setting up the Jill Dando Fund, click here.
Afterwards, as Patron of British Bobsleigh & Skeleton Association, The Countess attended a Fundraising Dinner at Boisdale Restaurant at Canary Wharf in London. Gala Dinner organized by The Membership Committee of the British Bobsleigh & Skeleton Association to celebrate the success of the 4-man Bobsleigh team from the Sochi Olympics and to raise funds for the Youth and Para sections of our sports.
The evening also supported the growth of Para Bobsleigh programme for athletes with disabilities. After British Bobsleigh & Skeleton on Facebook:
This time yesterday we were celebrating the Sochi Olympic 4️⃣ man success with a host of 🏅 winning athletes & coaches, some old friends & some new, plus our patron, HRH The Countess of Wessex GCVO.
A great night at Boisdale Restaurants, with plenty of smiles & no shortage of pics that we’ll share over the coming days.
The British Bobsleigh & Skeleton Association is the main sports governing body for bobsleigh and skeleton in the United Kingdom. The British are credited to be the founders of competitive bobsleigh, which became an Olympic sport in 1924, and also had an important part to play in developing the sport of skeleton, which evolved from the famous Cresta Run, and became an Olympic sport in 2002.
Outfit & jewellery:
Alaia, ‘Scalloped metallic stretch-knit’ midi dress.
Earrings seen before, no ID.
Halcyon Days ‘Maya’ bracelet.
Watch by Chanel.
Jimmy Choo Cayla clutch-bag.
Black or dark navy suede pumps, possibly Prada or Manolo’s.