Michelle Obama speaking in Edinburgh

17 July 2018, 07:14

Michelle Obama

Former US first lady Michelle Obama is due to attend a fundraising dinner in Edinburgh later.

Mrs Obama is expected to speak about her time at the White House during the evening event organised by The Hunter Foundation (THF).

Her attendance at the charity 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.

Scottish band Deacon Blue and soul singer Beverley Knight are the musical acts set to perform at the function at the EICC.

Welsh comedian Rob Brydon will compere the evening, while five-time Olympic medallist Dame Katherine Grainger will act as moderator of the conversation with the former first lady.

THF founder, businessman Sir Tom Hunter, previously said it would be "more than an honour" to welcome Mrs Obama to Scotland.

He said: "From a brick bungalow on the south side of Chicago to the White House has been an epic, historic journey and we look forward to hearing about that journey and Mrs Obama's future path.

"It is more than an honour to welcome first lady Michelle Obama, following so closely on from the 44th president's visit of last year and we are delighted she accepted our invitation."

All profits from the Tuesday night dinner will be invested in hundreds of charities across Scotland, the foundation has pledged.

No further details have been released of the guests expected to attend.

However, school pupils were asked to submit a video on the topic of "If I ruled Scotland" for a chance to go to the event.

Melissa Croft, 14, from Mearns Castle High School in East Renfrewshire and Cerys Gough, 14, from Langholm Academy in Dumfries and Galloway, were picked by the organisers as winners.

In her eight years in the White House, Mrs Obama worked to transform the role of first lady, becoming a role model and champion for women and girls across America and beyond.

The Harvard law graduate led initiatives aimed at tackling childhood obesity and together with Jill Biden, wife of former vice president Joe Biden, worked to improve life for servicemen and women and veterans.

Her Reach Higher programme aimed to inspire more young people in the US to continue education after high school by going on to college or university while she also campaigned to help more girls across the world attend school.

Last year, about 1,200 people - including First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and author JK Rowling - attended when the former president made his first trip to Scotland, with the dinner he spoke at raising £670,000 for good causes.