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Camilla hosts the annual holiday party for terminally and seriously ill children

By Stephanie Petit
December 12, 2019 02:21 PM
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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at Clarence House!

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, hosted children for her annual holiday party at the home she shares with husband Prince Charles. On top of serving a lunch of sausages and mash, the kids helped put the finishing touches on the Christmas tree. They even met Captain Ross of the Welsh Guards…and two of Santa’s reindeer!

“I think everybody should put on their coats, and we’ll all trail along outside to see if we can find some more friends waiting for us,” Camilla told the children before heading out to see the animals, who wore harnesses with the names Dancer and Blitzen.

Camilla is a patron of both Helen & Douglas House and Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity. Helen & Douglas House cares for terminally ill children and their families in Oxfordshire and surrounding counties through medical, emotional and practical support, while Roald Dahl’s charity supports a network of more than 70 Roald Dahl Specialist Nurses across the U.K.

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall
Credit: WPA Pool/Getty

For the special occasion, Camilla looked festive in a red dress.

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall
| Credit: WPA Pool/Getty

“I want to thank all of you — the parents, the nurses, the carers and most of all these wonderful children,” Camilla, 72, told her guests. “I know sometimes it is probably not easy, but to see [the children] all here today looking so happy is a real treat for me.”

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall
| Credit: WPA Pool/Getty
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall
| Credit: WPA Pool/Getty

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The Christmas party comes after Camilla joined Kate Middleton, Prince William and Queen Elizabeth at a Buckingham Palace reception on Wednesday evening. The evening party is one of the highlights of the royal year and a pre-Christmas tradition. The Queen, 93, hosts around 1,000 guests for the white tie bash.

Men wear tailcoats and women are in long gowns as the party moves through several of the magnificent state rooms of the palace including the State Dining, the Blue Drawing and the White Drawing rooms.