Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, teamed up with Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, for a rare joint virtual engagement to mark the start of Children's Hospice Week in the United Kingdom that takes place between June 22 to 28.
Kate Middleton and Duchess Camilla joined a video call with three children's hospices in the UK last week and thanked those involved in the work. The Zoom call was attended by the Delf family, who lost nine-year-old Fraser earlier this year, Eddie Farwell, founder of Children's Hospice South West, and Clare Periton, Chief Executive of Helen & Douglas House.
The British royals made the call in their role as the patron of Children's Hospices. While Camilla has been the patron of Children's Hospice South West and Helen & Douglas House since 2014 and 2007 respectively, her daughter-in-law Kate became the patron of East Anglia Children's Hospices (EACH) in early 2012.
It was Kate's patronage that helped the Delf family with their son Fraser, who passed away in January from complications related to Coats plus syndrome, a rare condition that can impact multiple organs, including the eyes, brain, and bones. The Delf family spent seven weeks in an EACH hospice in Milton during Fraser's last days.
During the call, Kate described the work of children's hospices as "extraordinary" and "awe-inspiring." She also praised the work done by "fundraising superhero," Stuie Delf, who started an incredible fundraising initiative for Kate's patronage EACH to honour the memory of his younger brother Fraser. The 13-year-old ran a sponsored 5K every day in May and raised 20,259 pounds for the hospice.
Meanwhile, Camilla shared her experience of her first visit to a children's hospice, saying: "I have to admit I was filled with a certain amount of trepidation, because I wasn't sure what I was going to find. When I arrived I was totally amazed by what I found, the feeling of warmth and laughter and happiness."
The 72-year-old, who is married to Prince Charles, the heir apparent to the British throne, described the nurses and carers as the "most wonderful people." Kate and Camilla joined the Zoom call from their respective residences, and marks the first time the duo have carried out a joint virtual engagement during the coronavirus pandemic.