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 Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) June 22, 2020
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
13-year-old Stuie Delf is running 5k each day in May, in memory of his brother Fraser.
On his page, Stuie writes “I have chosen to do this for EACH. This charity is very special to me, they have supported my family and I through a really tough time.”https://t.co/d0qklPS5yr pic.twitter.com/goFJZYBSSN
— EACH (@EACH_hospices) May 1, 2020
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. Below you see them with Governor Jerry Brown and his wife Anne Gust Brown.
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).
Stuie Delf has raised an incredible £15,665 for EACH!
Last week, Stuie finished his final 5k with a total of £6k. Within 24 hours, his total rocketed to £12k and has now reached an amazing £15,665!
Here’s a little thank you from him!
— EACH (@EACH_hospices) June 13, 2020
- Visit the Together for Short Lives website here; the group’s Facebook page is here; its Twitter feed is here; the charity’s Instagram page is here
- Learn more about EACH at the group’s website; you may also follow the organization on Facebook here, as well as on Twitter here
- The full Evening Express piece is here; the Daily Telegraph’s story is here; the Daily Mail’s coverage is here;
- Victoria Murphy’s Town and Country story is here; Simon Perry’s People article is here; Danielle Stacey’s Hello piece is here
- My friend Patricia Watts has relaunched her site, A Petite Princess, and this post has info on a fundraiser for EACH