The Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Cornwall joined a video call to mark Children's Hospice Week in the U.K.

By Simon Perry
June 22, 2020 05:30 PM
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Kate Middleton and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall team up for video call to hospices
Clarence House

Kate Middleton and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall have a shared cause in supporting children’s hospices and bringing awareness to how they care for kids and their families.

The two royals teamed up to express their gratitude for those who have been supporting families that have been helped by children's hospices — especially during the particularly difficult time of the coronavirus pandemic. In their first joint video call, Kate and Camilla spoke with a family that has been helped by one of Kate’s longterm patronages, East Anglia Children’s Hospices, and the heads of two of Camilla’s patronages, Children’s Hospice South West and Helen & Douglas House.

During the call, which marks Children's Hospice Week in the U.K., Kate, 38, asked the Delf family, who lost their son Fraser, 9, earlier this year, how they were coping. 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.”

Kate Middleton at Fakenham garden center on June 18.
PA Images

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.

“We also renewed our wedding vows because Fraser had always looked at our wedding pictures and asked where he was in those,” Carla added.

During the call, Kate said that hospices “go the extra mile to support families like yours. They consider the whole family which is important.”

Fraser’s brother, 13-year-old Stuie, told them he had been inspired by 100-year-old veteran Captain Tom Moore — who walked every day to raise millions — to run three miles every day in May. He has raised $18,600 for the hospice.

"Captain Tom’s done a lot for this country,” Camilla interjected. “He’s inspired so many people. You must be very fit, Stuie.”

Kate Middleton and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall in Feb. 2020
Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images

Camilla, 72, said that she was filled with “a certain amount of trepidation" when she first visited a children's hospice about 13 years ago. But “when I arrived I was amazed . . . the feeling of warmth and laughter and happiness. The nurses and carers are just wonderful people and inspire happiness which was the opposite of what I thought it was going to be.”

Commending the work of children’s hospices at this difficult time, Camilla added, “We’d like to thank everybody that works for hospices across the U.K. for the incredible job you do and allowing families to treasure their moments together.”

She went on to describe nurses and carers as “the most wonderful people” that “inspire happiness.”

The royals also heard how the hospice movement had to be “agile on our feet” as they changed the way they worked during the pandemic.

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Tracy Rennie, acting chief executive of EACH, tells PEOPLE, “It’s a privilege to have the continued support of the Duchess of Cambridge for EACH and the children’s hospice movement as a whole, as well as the support of the Duchess of Cornwall, and it couldn’t be more welcome during such challenging and uncertain times.

“We’ve had to rapidly adapt how we deliver care and support, and the funding hit has been considerable. That said, the ever-supportive communities of East Anglia, along with the government, have been amazing, as always. Of course, it’s always particularly poignant when members of a bereaved family decide to do something for us and what Stuie’s done has been nothing short of incredible. We were delighted the family had this opportunity to share their experience with the Duchesses.”