Today saw the annual decoration of the Christmas Tree at Clarence House, where ill children from Helen and Douglas House were invited by The Duchess of Cornwall to help her in the task.
Also joining in the festive fun in the Morning Room at Prince Charles and Camilla’s London residence were children from Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity.
Camilla has been patron of Helen & Douglas House, which helps families cope with the challenges of looking after a terminally ill baby, child or young adult, since 2007, making this year the eighth time children have visited Clarence House for the event.
Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity was founded more than 25 years ago by Felicity Dahl in memory of the determination of her husband Roald Dahl; the charity provides specialist nurses for a range of conditions and illnesses. It was announced as the event was underway that The Duchess of Cornwall has become the organisation’s royal patron.
Mingling with those there, Camilla spoke to Perfect Akerejola, a seven-year-old who has sickle cell disease, and is helped by the Ronald Dahl charity.
“You look so smart,” The Duchess of Cornwall said of his bow tie. “Did you chose it yourself?”
As The Queen’s daughter-in-law left, he said “She is the deputy Queen.”
Another with whom Camilla spoke was Anthony Brine, five, who suffers from recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa; this condition causes his body to develop blisters both inside and out from any kind of friction.
As ever, a Welsh Guardsman was on hand to help put the star on top of the tree. Jack Farmelo, the Duchess’ assistant equerry used his sword for the job.
Addressing her guests, the Duchess said: “May I wish you a very Happy Christmas. I always feel like today is the start of Christmas. It is such a joy to meet all of you. I hope the children have enjoyed themselves as much as I have.”
The children also enjoyed sausages and mash at Clarence House, served up in the dining room by Camilla herself. All guests received a royal goodie bag to take home.
Earlier this afternoon, The Duchess of Cornwall joined her husband, The Prince of Wales, to visit Borough Market a few months after it was targeted in a terror attack.
The royal couple were joined by The Archbishop of Canterbury to peruse the stalls and their offerings. Upon arrival, Prince Charles and Camilla listened to carol singers fill the air with festive music, and also met with representatives of charities associated with the market area of south London.
Speaking to stall holders, the Prince and Duchess learnt how the community has been recovering following the attack in June, which killed eight and injured many more.
Never one to turn down a sample of local produce, Prince Charles tested some Caerphilly cheese from one stall.
The couple then headed to Southwark Cathedral for a Service of Light.