Michelle Obama attends fundraising dinner in Edinburgh

Judy Murray, Mark Beaumont and Beverley Knight were among the guests attending a fundraising dinner in Scotland with Michelle Obama.

The former US first lady arrived in Edinburgh on Tuesday evening for the charity event described by organisers as her first official international appearance since leaving the White House.

Up to 900 guests packed into the EICC venue in anticipation of hearing the VIP shed light on her time as first lady during a conversation moderated by five-time Olympic medallist Dame Katherine Grainger.

Judy Murray was in Edinburgh to hear Michelle Obama speak (Lesley Martin/PA)
Judy Murray was in Edinburgh to hear Michelle Obama speak (Lesley Martin/PA)

Welsh comedian Rob Brydon was lined up to compere the evening, with entertainment being provided by Knight and Scottish band Deacon Blue.

Speaking ahead of the function, Knight told Press Association Scotland: "This is one of those moments in your life where it's not just a joy, not just an honour, it's seismic, it's historical. So for me, I'm beaming.

"I have never met Michelle Obama so tonight this is desperately exciting for me.

"When I told my mum, she was almost in tears. For me as a woman, for me as a black woman, it's just so huge."

Sir Tom Hunter and singer Beverley Knight arrive at the EICC
Sir Tom Hunter and Beverley Knight arrive at the dinner (Lesley Martin/PA).

She went on: "The thing with the Obama family is you could see what kind of people they were from the second they took office. President Obama is so altruistic and Mrs Obama is so graceful and charismatic - just decent people.

"For me to be a part of that, to have some of that little fairy dust on me, it's just wonderful."

Deacon Blue vocalist Ricky Ross said: "We were delighted to be asked to play at this year's Hunter Foundation fundraiser but we are just the turn, the main attraction will be to listen to Michelle Obama talking about her upbringing and her time in the White House.

"The event raises hundreds of thousands of pounds for hundreds of charities across Scotland and The Hunter Foundation have passed our fee on to the Marie Curie Hospice in Glasgow who cared for our band mate and dear friend Graeme Kelling."

Among those spotted heading into the conference centre were tennis coach Judy Murray, the mother of professional players Jamie and Andy.

Record-breaking long-distance cyclist Mark Beaumont, businessman Sir Ian Wood and Scottish finance secretary Derek Mackay were also in attendance at the event.

Mark Beaumont and his mother Una attending the dinner
Endurance cyclist Mark Beaumont was one of the special guests (Lesley Martin/PA)

Mrs Obama is understood to have gone into the venue via a back entrance.

Her attendance at the gathering sees her follow in the footsteps of her husband, former US president Barack Obama, who visited Scotland in May last year for a similar event with the foundation.

A table for 10 people at the event cost £5,000. All profits will be distributed to over 1,000 good causes via the Kiltwalk charity.

THF founder, businessman Sir Tom Hunter, said: "We're delighted to have the former first lady come and do her first international appearance since leaving the White House, so we're very chuffed that she's chosen Scotland to do so.

"For these events we've had some very high-profile men.

"We've had the former first lady's husband last year, President Obama, President Clinton, George Clooney.

"Therefore I think it was time to find a woman who's on the world stage and I don't think we could have got anybody better."

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