Much like the Covent Garden Rent Ceremony, the Russian Summer Ball is an event I always look forward to every year. This year it took place in the Scottish House in London, and I was on duty as Toastmaster for the night.

It was an honour to be in the company of Princess Olga of Russia and Prince Rostislav Romanov of Russia. Also in attendance were none other than TV celebrity, Lady Colin Campbell and Imperial Envoy Philip Bonn and His Imperial Highness Prince Ermias Sahle-Selassie of Ethiopia, grandson of Haile Selassie.

I do love to take part in events that have such a wealth of culture within them, and the mix of attendees from all over the world meant there was so much to learn about ethnicity and origin, it was most fascinating.

I even found a Gloucester connection, as back in the 1930s when Mussolini invaded Ethiopia, Haile Selassie sort refuge in the UK and stayed with a gentleman and his family in the Cotswolds. The late emperor even visited Gloucester’s own Odeon cinema!

The founder and chairman Alexander Suscenco put together a first-class banquet and evening entertainment. I must say, It is an honour and a privilege to attend this event with such wonderful, memorable company.