Monday, 22 June 2020

The Duchesses Zoom In for Children's Hospice Week

To mark Children's Hospice Week, the Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Cornwall joined forces via Zoom to support three of their patronages: East Anglia's Children's Hospices, Children's Hospice South West and Helen and Douglas House. The video call took place last Wednesday with Kate dialing in from Norfolk and Camilla from London.


The duchesses were joined by Eddie Farwell, co-founder of Children's Hospice South West, and CEO of Helen and Douglas House, Clare Periton. Camilla said: "We'd like to thank everybody that works for hospices across the UK for the incredible job you do and allowing families to treasure their moments together." Speaking about nurses and carers, she described them as "the most wonderful people" that inspire happiness. Kate said she's a "massive fan" of the work hospices do and it's "awe-inspiring" to see the efforts of staff to provide care in the most difficult circumstances.


Kate and Camilla also heard from the Delf family who are being supported by EACH. Parents Stuart and Carla and their thirteen-year-old son Stuie spoke about the loss of nine-year-old Fraser who sadly passed away in January. Kate asked them how they had been supported and praised the work of EACH: "Children's hospices go that extra mile actually and support families like yourselves, I think it's extraordinary. And, like you say, they consider the whole family as well, which is really important."


More from Hello!

'Stuie, who has raised over £15,000 for EACH, told the Duchesses he was inspired by 100-year-old war veteran Captain Sir Tom Moore.
The Duchess of Cornwall told him: "Oh Captain Tom. Captain Tom has done a lot for this country, hasn't he? He's inspired so many people. You must be very fit, Stuie."
The Delfs spent seven weeks living in the EACH hospice in Milton, near Cambridge, with Fraser before he died as a result of Coats plus syndrome, a rare condition that affects multiple organs and causes brain abnormalities.
Kate asked the family about the support they received from EACH at the time, with mum Carla, 37, telling the Duchess: "They are just such amazing people, they really are. The care was amazing, not just towards Fraser, making sure he was comfortable, but our wellbeing was met."
Stuart, 42, said afterwards: "[The Duchess] 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.'

Kate became patron of EACH in 2012. Although the charity is already reliant on donations to cover £6 million per year needed to support families in the area, they recently completed a mammoth effort - raising £10 million for a purpose built hospice called the Nook. Below, the Duchess at the official opening last November. During a speech that day, Kate addressed staff and volunteers: "EACH was one of the very first charities that I decided to become patron of after my marriage. Whilst a lot has changed since then, my commitment and support for this wonderful organisation and the work that you do has not."


More from EACH on how they are coping during COVID-19:

'THIS IS… Children’s Hospice Week!
 This year, our theme is 'THIS IS…’. 
We’ve all faced a challenging and uncertain time over the last few months. At EACH, we’ve lost significant income due to the closure of shops and cancellation of fundraising events and activities. We’ve also made rapid adjustments to the way we support families, while they shield their vulnerable children.
We know the word ‘hospice’ can be daunting, but we want to show you what they're really like – often very fun and happy places! Below and over the course of the week, we’ll introduce you to children and families, some of our team, our creative supporters and we'll show you more of what we’ve been doing during lockdown.'

As part of the week, they shared Sophie's story: "Lisa and husband Andrew Bell, 45, who also works at Addenbrooke's, have asked for a joint 45th, 46th and what would have been a 17th birthday present from friends, family and supporters of a donation to EACH in memory of their daughter, Sophie Bell, who died of a brain tumour on 27th December 2012, aged 10." The parents have since raised £120,000 for the Brain Tumour Research charity, deciding to change the direction of this fundraiser after hearing of the significant impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on EACH.


The family did not expect to use EACH services, but the charity's hospice in Milton made a big difference during Sophie's last few weeks. Lisa said: "They became a lifeline for us at the end. They moved us in, with a five-year-old son, within two weeks of us toing and froing, with one of us there and one at home. They fed us, they held us, they played with Sophie and Isaac [Sophie’s brother, now aged 12, a pupil at Newmarket Academy]. They counselled us throughout. They even took Isaac to school on some days. There was no question, no pushiness, no nothing as we continued to care for our daughter as only we felt we could and they supported us all the way. We owe them an incredible debt of gratitude. Knowing they are significantly down in revenue due to COVID-19, they are a charity, they aren’t funded by the government, knowing there is a risk of a child not getting the incredible love and care we received, we just can’t ignore it." Lisa's Just Giving page is here.


The Duchess of Cornwall became Royal Patron of Children's Hospice South West following a 2013 visit to their sister hospice in Cornwall. During a speech praising co-founder Eddie Farwell who joined the Duchesses on the Zoom call, Camilla said: "Can I say just a few words really to congratulate you, Eddie, and all of the team whose work has made this a very, very special place. Before I visited a hospice I always thought that they might be sad places but it is completely the opposite, they are uplifting and very, very special, and I think that this is one of the most exceptional places I have ever seen."


Helen and Douglas House provides hospice care for babies and children in Oxfordshire and surrounding counties. The Duchess has been patron for thirteen years. In 2018, 500 jars of Duchess of Cornwall honey, produced by bees in Camilla's own private garden in Wiltshire, went on sale at Fortnum & Mason to raise money for the charity. Children from the charity are often invited for a festive visit to Clarence House to help decorate the tree and meet Santa's reindeer.


I didn't know until today the honey is sold each year in support of a different charity Camilla supports. It's a splendid idea and an excellent means of assisting in the many ongoing fundraising efforts.


Children's Hospice Week is the only week in the year dedicated to raising much-needed funds for hospices and palliative care services across the UK. It's been a grueling time for many charities and care providers who rely on donations and fundraising events to keep their vital services going, often providing a lifeline to families during unimaginable difficulties. Please click here to find out more or if you wish to donate.


Given the additional challenges, Together for Short Lives has created a number of means to help during this time. One in particular which might appeal is 'Spin the Wheel of Fortune'. Click here to spin the wheel.


Once you land on one of the following, you can set up your own Just Giving Page with friends and family who will sponsor you in the Children's Hospice Week challenge.


  • The rainbow challenge: Become a one-person rainbow and make sure no item of clothing you wear all week is the same colour
  • Go sugar-free: Give up sugar for the week
  • TV ban: Don’t watch TV at all for the week
  • Buzz word bingo: Have your team or family/friends decide a word/phrase you can’t say this week – donate £1 for each time you use your buzz word
  • Step up: Aim to walk 70,000 steps this week
  • Call waiting: Turn your phone off for two hours each day this week
  • The press up challenge: Complete 20 press ups each day this week
  • The sit up challenge: Complete 20 sit ups each day this week
  • The 50 quid challenge: Raise £50 for Together for Short Lives however you want – host a quiz night, take on a running challenge, or just make a donation!


  • As several of you noted, it very much appears Kate brought back an elegant lawn green dress from her 2011 wardrobe. Kate wore the DVF Maja dress during her first official visit to the US with William following their tour of Canada. She wore it again for a pre-wedding event ahead of Mike and Zara Tindall's wedding.


    The dress was described as: "This crew-neck silk dress features a 9-snap closure at the V back. Detachable self-belt tie. Elbow-length dolman sleeves."


    The Duchess accessorised with her Catherine Zoraida Fern earrings.


    I hope you all are having a great start to the week!

    39 comments:

    1. Sarah from Calif.22 June 2020 at 23:47

      Precious, absolutely precious!

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    2. A duquesa estava a usar seu vestido DVF usado na turnê Norte americana em 2011

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      1. I'm a Brazilian too. I liked her straigtened hair a lot.

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    3. Sheila in KW Canada23 June 2020 at 00:36

      Might she be wearing the green silk Diane von Furstenburg dress from summer 2011?

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    4. Is this the DVF Maja dress she’s had for a while?

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    5. Thanks, Charlotte for keeping this blog current with all of the work of Kate and other royals. I am so glad to see Camilla and Kate working together as I think they compliment each other in their support of these patronages. Good to see the royal family carrying on business as usual despite the Covid 19 pandemic and the disturbing times they have endured this past year.

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    6. Thank you so much, what a lovely in-depth post. Very inspirational. Thank you for your hard work. I really enjoy these Zoom calls.

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    7. Kate looks fantastic, I absolutely love her hair!! I like her hair best parted on the side when she has it down. This is an extremely important charity that needs as much support as possible. My best friend lost her seven year old granddaughter to bone cancer and what the family went through for three years as they went from one treatment program to another was heartbreaking. I am really thrilled to see that honey from the hives of Camillas garden are sold to help support the charities, thanks for sharing that Charlotte, a nice surprise!! What a great initiative and beautiful packaging! Someone mentioned in a previous post that Kate should do a book of her photos or photos from the Hold Still project, but there was concern as to what charity it would support, perhaps it could rotate charities much like selling the honey seems to do. At any rate, Kate looks beautiful and what a way to kick off an important charity. Guess I'm doing 20 sits up each day this week, heaven knows I need to!

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      1. It was me who made that comment. If she published a book the sales would, logically, be higher at the beginning than, say, 6 months after its release so it would be difficult to rotate organizations. If the profits were shared between all her patronages I’m afraid there won’t be a lot of money for them. It’s not easy. Look how everybody was/is waiting for Meghan to sell something to help her animals charity because she did that for her other charities. How many items can anyone possibly create and sell if the person has 30 patronages for example?

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      2. You're right about it being difficult to sell something for every charity, but maybe something like the honey would add a little extra revenue for each. I've been reading about so many people in the US and the UK, as well as everywhere else, who are running out of food. A lot of people feel through the cracks for continued salaries or stimulus checks and I think this is a very serious thing that should be addressed. Here, it seems to be of concern only for people at the grass roots level, but it would be good if the RF used their platform. It could save some lives.

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      3. The RF uses its platform to highlight necessities and show people organizations they can donate to in order to help people in need. I have my own concerns about selling things. Camilla’s honey seems to be very little known but if it was extremely publicized it would be very bad rivalry for other people who make and sell their honey as a way of living. Naturally most people would prefer Camilla’s one especially if all profits go to charity...it’s a very difficult balance.

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      4. Caroline in Montana24 June 2020 at 19:53

        Anon 20:53 - I believe that there were only 500 jars of honey so its not as if she is competing for the honey market, a once a year specialty item for charity. agree that it did not seem well known, at least by us here! you are correct in saying that the real focus is on other people giving, not on buying things!

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    8. Ahh it's so great that Kate continues her hospice work. It was one of her first causes and I think she definitely brought it more into the public eye. It is a painful topic and many shy away, so this is on of her most important causes in my opinon.
      I also love her hairstyle in the call. The sleeker look, transfers so much better on screen than the blow out she as worn before. It flatters her facial features and looks much more her age.
      C.

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      1. People tend to reduce Kate to “oh she likes children” but there’s a lot more. Both this and addiction are extremely important causes but it seems they’re not fashionable or have hashtags on social media so people diminish them. All causes are important but giving these children and their families the necessary care and support through the very worst moments of their lives as these organizations do deserve the biggest exposure and publicity everywhere.

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    9. Heartbreaking but necessary organization. So glad she's supported it.

      Love this dress and so glad she brought it back. It with the sleeker hair makes her look so sophisticated and beautiful. I think she's actually becoming more beautiful the older she gets.

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    10. So happy for Kate, her hairdresser is definitely back! She has been so great during lockdown. Well done to her for keeping some relevant causes in the spotlight and making a difference in the lives of both the staff and the beneficiaries by remembering them in these tough times.

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    11. Caroline in Montana23 June 2020 at 16:33

      WOW, this is great! so glad she highlights this cause, very important. Heartbreaking what these families go through. Sophie's story gave me goosebumps, how great it must be to have a place like this if one needs it. so glad that Kate continues to spotlight important causes.

      I had no idea about Camilla's honey and would love a jar, maybe next year before it sells out, what a great way to raise money for charity's, (do you think folks actually eat it or it just sits on the mantel?:) hope Kate can come up with something similar.

      I don't remember this dress but I really like it, a good color on her, love the back of it as well. her hair seems to be straightened, does that really require a hairdresser? was hard to tell if she had anything done with the light behind her. I feel so/so on the earing's, she has better.

      Agree with Amy 13:13 above, she really does get more beautiful with age. She is such an asset to the BRF, William was very smart to pick her and then get her to agree to this life:)

      Thanks Charlotte!!

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    12. Wonderful organization. Kate looks wonderful. I love her hair in waves/curls but this sleek style with the length and cut looks fantastic in the video. Hey eyebrows look great also. She has figured out a great spot with great lighting for her videos. I am not typically a big bright green color person but the drape and minimal style of this dress makes it work, plus it is a great color of green with Kates coloring. Can't believe it still looks so vibrant almost 10 years later.

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    13. The Duchess looks stunning. Great to see her and her step mother in law work together on such an important cause. I had the benefit of hospice care when I lost my Mother. How unbearable to have to avail of their services for a child. Any and all monies raised is used very well by them supporting the sick and dying and the extended family. Mental health and dying children are matters a lot of people can't even talk about. Well done to both Duchess. Regarding a book, I think anything that the Duchess does would be supported. Maybe we will see Cambridge jam or chutney on sale soon. Thank you for the update Charlotte. I for one will be making a donation to a children's hospice and one for adults. The care that the give is priceless.

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      1. A collaboration of Kate with Camilla and some honey and chutney/jam would be really great!! I would certainly support something like that every year. Would love to have a jar of the honey and very impressed with the initiative from the Duchess of Cornwall. Have to believe that any little bit of revenue can help any charity in some manner or another.

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    14. Valerie in Arizona23 June 2020 at 18:27

      What a brave family! At first I wondered about having the little boy on the fall but seeing how he brightened up when he was asked about his running, I saw how sensitively it had been handled. In Kate’s favorite words “well done!”

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    15. Absolutely great both Dss's working together for the same cause, CHILDREN, they are a countries greatest asset. I look forward every year for the invitation of a Children's- Hospice to Clarence House,for the Christmas tree decorations and the lunch served by Camilla herself. Great job for both Royal ladies.Loved Kate's green dress.

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    16. What I love about these Zoom meetings is that we get to really see and hear how she interacts with her personages. Usually, coverage of her engagements involves photos and maybe a few minutes of video, and often you can't really hear her conversations. She always looks beautiful and her personality comes through even in those short clips, but it's really a different ball game to be able to see and hear an extended dialog.

      My quibble is wishing she'd follow advice on presenting oneself in video calls: no backlighting! She's got great photography skills, so it's a complete mystery to me why she's been choosing to sit with the sunlit window behind her.

      Take care everyone.

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      1. It’s true! A friend quipped that by the end of zoom meetings, we adults will know all the angles for great/flattering shots and videos just like the younger crowd does. I am very surprised some of the basics, like cameras at eye level/straight on have not been addressed. That’s pretty easy to fix with a book or two underneath the laptop or camera. Back lighting seems to be a new problem. But I feel certain somewhere in their house they have a blank wall to use.

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      2. It's true. She uses exquisite lighting for her photographic subjects. Especially that one of Charlotte and those photos associated with a recent exhibit-the family groups.
        However, she may not think of herself as the focus. Perhaps she thought the view from the window would be an attractive, cheerful scene for those watching the video I noticed Prince Charles has moved away from the photo and memorabilia -filled videos. Every item was remarked on by the media. His latest included a backdrop of landscape paintings and floral arrangements as has Camilla's. Pleasant, but not as personal as their desk photos taken in their private studies.


        Perhaps due to some of the comments about her hair and make-up in various videos, maybe Kate was sending a message through the lighting that she really did not intend to be the focal point.

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      3. Yes I even find when I am on Zoom calls I am focusing on what's in the background. Think, aside from the light from behind, the window nook and the door views of the Cambridge house are just fine. It also makes Kate and William pretty relatable to the rest of us. Even with books, laptops seem to distort more than when using a pc screen, I don't know why, but that's been my observation. Anon 03:11 I would agree with your comment that Kate just doesn't want to be the focal point and she may very well be aware of the lighting issues. Kate has a purpose to what she does, even if it doesn't make sense to us.

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      4. That last sentence, anon18:36 sums Kate up to me. How many times has she been criticised for doing or not doing something at a given time. This is especially true of some of her projects and to a certain extent, Heads Together, which was recognized by Harry and others as her idea. If course, we later learn that there was a plan, purpose, and method all along. Few seem to note this and continue to expect projects from her that go from 0-60 in a short time. She has always gone for the long view that results in incredibly interwoven and organised results, involving multiple sources and contributers. This sort of project takes time but pays off in the end. It also does not lend itself to media fodder, as much of the work is done in meetings and consultations with few photo ops. For awhile, with the arrival of her last Private Secretary, it looked as though some of these meetings would be both photographed and included in the Court Circular.
        Some of her more recent projects have let the media in on the process as well as the product. They have been relatively short-term with a given end date. There have been updates on the pandemic photo effort and I expect to see Kate at work with the NPG (I believe it is) collating the photographic entries. This sort of plan works well for the tabloids, likely because that appeals to their readers.

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      5. Zora from Prague26 June 2020 at 22:07

        Well said, Anon 02:07!

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      6. She really does set goals and plan well, doesn't she, Zora? Another example carried out amidst Hospice activities: the promise (to the brother), the process (shopping at the Garden Centre), the goal met--a sunflower planted. I think these shorter term projects that continue to thrive after launching are a match made in media heaven. I don't know if this was encouraged by her new team ( 3 new members) or if Kate saw how well her short-term garden projects were received. With JLP now permanently retired and a new assistant and Secretary on board it will be interesting to see how her work progresses. She still has a number of long term projects going but this helps keep momentum going while those projects evolve behind the scenes. Anon 2:07

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      7. Zora from Prague29 June 2020 at 06:54

        Yes, Anon 2:07, when I saw how she used in the Nook what she had bought in the Garden Centre, I realized that being a viewer, I often get to see just bits and pieces and only later I get a chance to see the whole jigsaw puzzle. There's certainly a lot of careful planning in everything Kate does.

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      8. Anon 2:07, you very clearly explain what I meant by "Kate has a purpose to what she does.." (Anon 18:36 here), particularly your example of the promise, the process, and the planting!! For all of Kate's outward softness and quiet elegance that she displays, there is a steadfastness within her that is unwavering. It's that inner strength and resoluteness, that isn't always visible or perceived by media or detractors, that grounds her. Athletes that have a competitive nature (and we all know Kate has one), have a discipline to how they approach their 'sport'. Her planning skills are enviable, her love and passion for her work undeniable, and her thoughtful commitment are commendable. It's what makes seeing how her work progresses and evolve so rewarding, you are right Zora, it's like a big wonderful jigsaw puzzle coming together.

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      9. Beautifully written, Anon 23:46!
        Anon 2:07 etc.

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      10. Apparently others are taking note of the role Kate is playing and her growing confidence. Here's an article that talks about her strengths and her understated appeal.

        https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/queen-in-waiting-duchess-cambridge-preparing-throne-141553798.html

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    17. Zipzipzippy
      Interesting comment on the lighting. I just read some tips on video recording and they suggested using backlighting:):).

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    18. both the duchess and the duke are doing a great job at all the stories are beautiful and some heartfelt story and some heartbreaking its good to the family to have support each other doing the two to the duchesses really jobs

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    19. Aside from the wonderful work that Hospice does all over the world,it was nice to see Kate and Camilla together doing a joint zoom. On a light note aside from the story itself I must say that my growing takeaway from the Royal Family zoom chats is that individually and collectively for me it makes each of them more human, relatable, engaging. We as the public are accustom to seeing videos and short sound bites. The use of zoom has allowed their individual personalities to really shine as well as a true sincerity of purpose in what they are speaking about. In another word, friendly. I think zoom has been a tremendous advantage in more ways then one for the members of the RF who choose to take advantage of the site. Personally, speaking of Kate, I loved her look. I do think she had been professionally blown out and her make up was very much old school prior to the lock down. It has a definite glamour tone in her eyes much the same as an evening engagement. She looked great. I do like "at home" Kate the best with fresh face and her natural look. Camilla looks very much herself, I don't often hear her speak.I think she is a natural in speaking to the public.

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      1. Loved her look too USA Granny. Whether it was done professionally or she did it herself she does seem to have a bit more glamour and looks very beautiful. With all the quarantine, maybe she felt she needed a little 'pampering', or she had other meeting plans, but whatever the reason it was a refreshing change up.

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    20. Such a beautiful, and inspiring story of the work Hospice does for the children, and their families. I shed a tear reading this post. Both Duchess Kate and Duchess Camilla were wonderful.
      Kate looked positively radiant and gorgeous.

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    21. Having lost a very dear friend to a long illness earlier this year, I cannot say enougg good things about hospice workers. To rise above the greatest tragedy I can imagine, the loss of a child, takes such compassion and greatness of spirit. I am glad Catherine and Camilla are choosing to highlight this work.

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