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It’s a Double Duchess Zoom for Children’s Hospice Week & a Favorite Fashion Flashback

A new video with the Duchess has been released to mark Children’s Hospice Week

The call was hosted by not one, but two Duchesses; the Duchess of Cornwall co-hosted. The call was made last Wednesday; it is believed to be the first-ever joint engagement for the two women. (Without other royal family members.)

During the call the Duchess of Cornwall said: 

‘I was going to start by describing what it felt like when I first went to visit a children’s hospice and that was Helen & Douglas House which I think was about 13 years ago. I have to admit before the first visit I was filled with a certain amount of trepidation because I was not sure what I was going to find. Whether I was going to find a sad, unhappy place or what I was going to find. Any way when I arrived, I was totally amazed by what I found. The feeling of warmth, and laughter and happiness and welcome. The nurses and carers who look after the children are the most wonderful people. It was so uplifting and the opposite to what I thought it was going to be.’

Children’s Hospice Week runs from June 22 – June 28 this year. The event is organized and managed by Together for Short Lives, a charity working to ensure seriously ill children and their families can have “the most of every moment they have together – whether that’s for years, months or only hours.”

This has been a particularly difficult year for the children’s hospice movement in the UK.  Fallout from the pandemic has severely impacted donations with charity shops closed and fundraising events canceled. Charity Today UK offers additional background on the current situation. 

But as they are all charities, they have faced unprecedented challenges. With charity shops having been closed from March until mid-June, and supporters have been unable to take part in challenge and fundraising events, they need support now more than ever. 

You may recall Kate officially opening an EACH charity shop in March 2016.

More about the call from Victoria Murphy’s Town and Country story.

The royal duo, who have both been supporters of the work children’s hospices do for many years, hosted a video call with representatives from three of their patronages. Children’s Hospice South West and Helen & Douglas House are two organizations Camilla has been patron of since 2014 and 2007 respectively. 

The representatives from the Duchess of Cornwall’s patronages were Eddie Farwell, co-founder and chief executive of Children’s Hospice South West, and Clare Periton, chief executive of Helen & Douglas House were also on the call.  Here is a very quick clip from the call. 

 The family you see on the call is the Delfs, who lost 9-year-old Fraser in January.

Fraser’s brother, Stuie (13), described his younger brother as his best friend. Below, the two boys.

The Delf family lived with Fraser for seven weeks at the EACH (East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices) hospice in Milton. You may recall that EACH was one of Kate’s first patronages.

The Duchess asked the Delfs how they were doing now and how care was, especially during a pandemic.  More from Simon Perry in his People article

Mom Carla told her they have “up and down days. I think we found it extremely hard in lockdown not being able to have our family and our friends because it’s not the same doing it via Zoom calling.”

And they told royal mom Kate of the support they got from EACH.

“They are just such amazing people. The care was amazing – not just towards Fraser, making sure he was comfortable but our wellbeing was met.”

The family had cooked meals provided, they had a visit from Father Christmas in December and they created other special “memories” during the time their son was in hospice.

The Duchess promised to do something very special during the call. The Evening Express has more

Mr Delf, 42, said afterwards: “She said she was going to plant a sunflower in memory of Fraser.

“I’m not sure which Each it’s going to be but at one of the hospices.”

The sunflower has been adopted as the emblem of hospice care, a symbol of joy with the seeds representing patients and the surrounding petals as love, care, and compassion.

Stuie Delf spoke about his fundraising work, especially during the month of May when he ran a 5K every day.  As of this evening, Stuie has raised almost £16000 for EACH. (If interested in donating, this link takes you to Stuie’s Just Giving page

 EACH reports that after the call the Stuie’s mum, Carla said: “The call was very laid back. They were lovely and easy people to talk to. They told us their experiences of hospices, then asked us about our journey and a few questions. I felt very honoured that we had that opportunity to tell our story.”

Kate referred to the work being done by the hospice organizations as “extraordinary”, also saying, “It’s a credit to the staff that they can provide the environment, the nurturing space for those families to help them go through long or short term care. It’s really awe-inspiring”.

The Royal Family posted on social media today about the work done by senior royals with children’s hospices throughout the UK. Below, the Prince of Wales during an engagement at Tŷ Hafan in Wales; he is the charity’s Patron.  Tŷ Hafan provides “comfort, care and support to children with life-limiting conditions and their families in Wales — making a short life a full life.” 

Here you see the Duchess of Cornwall at the official opening of the Little Harbour Hospice in Mid Cornwall, one of three entities under the Children’s Hospice South West umbrella.

Sophie, Countess of Wessex, also works with children’s hospices. Below, during an engagement at one of the Shooting Star Children’s Hospices. She is the Royal Patron of that organization.

Sadly, Shooting Star is an example of the funding crisis; the charity closed one of its two locations. More from a Daily Mirror story:  

Sophie, Countess of Wessex, patron of Shooting Star Children’s Hospices, has been left “incredibly saddened” after it shut one of two sites dedicated to helping 800 seriously ill kids.

The charity, which has been visited by other senior royals including Prince Charles and Camilla, and the Duchess of Cambridge, offers emergency respite and end-of-life care.

But a Mirror probe has discovered it is one of dozens of hospices, which rely on the public’s generosity, facing unprecedented hardship.

Below, the Duchess visiting one of the Shooting Star locations in 2013

The East Anglia Daily Times reports “Five of EACH’s 43 shops opened last week and Children’s Hospice Week hopes to raise more funds to plug the gap left by Covid-19.” Hopefully, more shops will be able to open as some of the lockdown restrictions are eased in the UK. It is tough terrain for non-profits in so many places, including the United States. 

Now for our look at what Kate wore during the call. 

It looks like she may have been wearing the Diane von Furstenberg Maja dress again.

The dress is 100% silk and features elbow-length dolman sleeves, a vee-back with 9-snap closure, and a detachable self-belt.  We first saw the dress when the Duke & Duchess attended a July 2011 reception welcoming them to Los Angeles.  

Kate brought the piece back for the cocktail party the evening before Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall were married. Below left you see Kate in the dress at the Los Angeles reception; the center and right photos are from that pre-wedding party in late July 2011.    

While we can’t be 100% certain it was the Maja, it certainly looked like that was what the Duchess was wearing. This was a look I always loved on Kate; it is fun to see what-we-think-is-the-Maja again. 

The Duchess wore her hair down and straightened; it appears she was wearing her Catherine Zoraida Fern Hoop earrings ($204).


Our other topic today – a fashion flashback preceding even the first appearance of the Maja dress.  In June 2011 the Duke and Duchess paid a visit to the Irish Guards.

The occasion was Armed Forces Day and Prince William awarded medals to some of the Guards.

More from the International Business Times

 [Prince William] presented the Elizabeth Cross to the families of three fallen servicemen. Besides this, both William and Kate awarded campaign medals to those who lost limbs after being blown up by home-made bombs during the six-month Afghan tour.

This was Kate’s first official military appearance.

Here is a closer look at what Kate wore nine years ago Thursday.

She was in a bespoke look by Alexander McQueen. The military-inspired design was fitted, with a high collar, three-quarter sleeves, double-breasted gold buttons, and shoulder epaulets. 

The Duchess’s fascinator was made by Rachel Trevor-Morgan

The Duchess carried a clutch by Anya Hindmarch, the British designer’s ‘Marano’ style (no longer available). She also wore a pair of navy satin-finish Prada pumps. 

The Kiki McDonough Citrine Drop earrings made an appearance and it was the first time we saw Kate wearing the gold shamrock brooch belonging to the Irish Guards. We have since seen it many times. The unit determines to whom it will be loaned; previously it has been worn by the late Queen Mother, as well as the Princess Royal, Princess Anne. 

We were also able to get a nice look at the charm bracelet believed to be a gift from the Duchess of Cornwall.

One side of the charm features Kate’s cipher, the script “C” and ducal crown seen above, while the other side has the Duchess of Cornwall’s cipher. 


Here is the entire 7-minute+ video. 

And here is Stuie Delf thanking people who donated to his fundraising efforts (this link takes you to Stuie’s Just Giving page). 



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Monday 29th of June 2020

That green DVF was one of my favorites from her early days as a duchess. In fact, there are many items from that first Canada/US tour that I wish she would wear again. It seems to me that she was slightly less inclined toward fussy prints back then. The straigh hair on the video is lovely. The blue McQueen was also a favorite of mine as I love military-inspired designs and think that the silhouette was very flattering on her. There was a bit of an issue with pulling at the bottom left (on her) button, but I have always assumed it was because she wore bulkier layers underneath than what she wore when it was fitted.

All in all, what a treat to see both of these throwback pieces again.


Friday 26th of June 2020

Love seeing this dress again and love the straight hair


Wednesday 24th of June 2020

I watched the full video of the call and I wanted to cry when the family spoke about losing their young son so recently. I think most of us think of hospice care as for the elderly because those are the ones who most often need it. Both my grandparents had short term hospice care in the days before they died. I remember going to visit my grandmother at the nursing home a few days before she died by myself. She was alone in her room on her bed moaning in pain, unaware that I was even there (she had had dementia for many years prior so it was a blessing she was hopefully unaware of what was going on around her). It's the hardest I've ever cried and my last memory is of her in pain. The people who work in hospice care are so essential to the grieving process and so great to see that the duchesses work with organizations who provide these services.

I actually thought I recognize the DVF dress before you suggested it! I specifically remember her wearing it the day before Mike and Zara's wedding and it was also a favorite of mine. It's not the most exciting dress maybe but the color and cut look great on her and such a classic look, a great departure from the sometimes fussy, froufrou look Kate tends to favor. Her hair also looks great layered and parted on the side. She should keep it styled this way at this length, it really suits her.

As for the fashion flashback, that was fun! I had forgotten about this Alexander McQueen military coat. One of the earliest instances where we saw Kate's love of theme dressing!! Has she worn it again since? I can't remember.


Wednesday 24th of June 2020

I wish we had more hospice in the U.S. It was a lovely interview and so enjoyable to watch. Thank you.


Wednesday 24th of June 2020

Kate always looks gorgeous in green and today is no exception,her hair is especially attractive too.

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