Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall decorates Christmas tree with terminally ill children

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall decorates Christmas tree with terminally ill children

Considering it’s Christmas Eve, I thought I’d post some festive pics of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall decorating the Clarence House Christmas tree with terminally ill children from Helen & Douglas House hospice. These photos are actually from December 11, which I never got around to posting, so apologies if you’ve seen these already. I like these photos, though; they may be some of my favorites from the entire year, so I want to post them even if they are 13 days old. Besides, they’re Christmas-y.

Camilla became Patron of Helen & Douglas House in 2007, and since then has been inviting children to Clarence House for lunch and to decorate the tree. This year she invited twelve children/young people and their families for the festivities.

Camilla tree decorating with children

Helen & Douglas House is an Oxford-based hospice that cares for terminally ill children, young adults, adults, and their families. The hospice provides medical, emotional and practical support, helping families deal with the implications of living with a child who will die prematurely, so they can make the most of their time together. They care for children, young adults, and adults up to age 35.

Camilla greeting child

Camilla met and chatted to the children and their families before opening the doors to the drawing room where they were met by her equerry dressed in full Welsh Guards uniform. They decorated the tree and then had lunch. Lunch included sausages and mash, which Camilla helped serve to the children.

Camilla equerry decorating tree with kids

Camilla said: “It’s lovely to see you all and I hope you have enjoyed yourselves. This is one of my favorite things to do each year and seeing your faces as the door opens is magical. Helen & Douglas House is a wonderful, uplifting place. Everyone should visit it.”

Camilla wore probably the best outfit I’ve ever seen her in: a fuchsia dress and matching nature-patterned scarf. The color looks so good on her! And it’s all bright and cheery for the children, yay!

Camilla decorating Christmas tree with children

Camilla introducing children to her equerry

Tree Decorations

Clarence house Christmas tree

Photos: Clarence House Instagram/Clarence House Twitter/Rebecca English Twitter/Getty

39 thoughts on “Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall decorates Christmas tree with terminally ill children

  1. What a lovely tradition! I’m surprised they don’t do something similar at Buck Palace. Of course Elizabeth and Phillip might be to far along to start new traditions – I hope Camilla carries it with her.

    1. I know, that would be a great thing at Buck House. But Liz and Phil are a bit old for that sort of thing. Also, Philip is an a-hole and would probably make a kid cry or something.

  2. What a heartwarming story! No matter what others might say about Camilla, it’s moments like this where she really shines! It’s easy to see why Charles loves her so much. Also, I thought this dress really suited her, the color livens up her complexion and the cut fits her so well. I like how she dresses for her position and age but almost never looks too dowdy.

    Not to compare the two women, but I was hoping that Kate might have hosted similar events at KP, there is certainly the room for it. I kind of thought that was the whole purpose of getting such a large apartment with reception rooms and multiple kitchens.

    As 2014 draws to a close I wanted to thank KMR for all your hard work. You have made this blog such a fun and lively spot to get away from the cares of the day and enjoy some royal watching. I hope this holiday season will be bright and full of love and laughter for you and your family and those who take the time to post such inspiring comments!

    1. Kate and William certainly have the room for it. And wasn’t hosting events at their home one of the reasons given for the extra large apartment? I’m pretty sure I remember reading that at one point. Since Kate is involved with a few charities that deal with children, she could totally start a tradition similar to this at her own place.

      Thank you. I hope you had, and continue to have, a great holiday!

  3. Thanks KMR, for posting this. I am not a Camilla fan, but…this is wonderful. I’ll bet the kids and their families look forward to it all year and enjoy it while they are there. Camilla looked genuinely happy and truly engaged with her guests. Her scarf and dress are perfect. It reminds me of an anecdote from WWII. Apparently the Queen Mum (who was just the Queen at the time) wanted to show her solidarity with the people of London who had been bombed and lost everything. She was criticized for showing up wearing fine clothing and jewelry, her critics saying that she should have “dressed down” to visit people in unfortunate circumstances. She replied, why shouldn’t she dress up? If they were coming to her house to see her, they would dress up. (Or something like that.) And when I compare how Kate shows up looking funereal to visit kids (anyone, everyone), with Camilla, I have to say, Camilla shines.

    And yes, your title for this post is hilarious! As Lauri said above, thanks for the insightful, interesting blog. Marry Christmas!

    1. That’s a great sentiment from the Queen Mum. I like that a lot actually.

      Lol typos. Merry day-after-Christmas!!

  4. I want to add my thanks for your blog and wishes for a Happy Christmas as well KMR. I love having a place where like minded people who see through the filter that gets put on everything can voice their opinions without being subject to verbal assaults.

    Merry Christmas to everyone!!

    1. Merry Christmas to you too Lisa, KMR and all the great, funny people on here! In an age when everything is scripted and very few people seem to think for themselves, it’s good to see a forum with open opinions and warm hearts. Enjoying the topics and conversations. I’m still wishing Diana hadn’t been so wishy-washy and had poisoned Camilla-what a trial! But as she goes, Camilla has her good points.

    2. Hi Lisa,

      Having stopped posting on other Kate-centric websites because any type of questioning or critical thoughts were not allowed, this site is such a breath of fresh air. KMR writes such witty and thought provoking articles not only about the D&D of C, but of the entire institution of monarchy. Probably like many others here, I started out as one of D&D of C’s biggest fans but am tired of broken promises and missed opportunities by these two. I don’t hate them or want to bash them 24/7 but it is nice to be able to express my frustrations.

  5. Nope, I didn’t see any misunderstanding with the headline.

    Joan Rivers said about Camilla : “I don’t just like her, I ADORED her.” I thought wow Camilla was perhaps really “maligned” by Diana-loving supporters. I just thought it was very wrong of Camilla to have an affair while she was married.

    A pot always need the correct lid and Camilla is that lid. Let them be blessed with all the happiness throughout their lives.

    Anyhow, season’s greetings to KMR and everyone!!

    1. I don’t agree with Camilla’s past actions but I think she’s a good match for Charles.

      Seasons greetings to you too!

  6. Good on Camilla. She is probably my favorite in that crazy, dysfunctional family. I think she is a woman who had totally LIVED, you know. She is no hot-house flower like the late Diana…she has been her own person from the beginning and makes few apologies for it. I don’t approve of all her actions in the past, but I don’t think she ever asked anyone to. She is what we in America would call “a tough old broad.” I like that about her.

    Thanks for the posr, KMR. And Merry Christmas, everyone.

    1. I agree, she seems like her own woman, and that is very beneficial in that family. I think we can all agree that her past actions were less than desirable, but she’s making up for it now IMO.

      Thank you, and I hope you had a great Christmas!

  7. Merry Christmas KMR. Thanks for the great posts through the year. Nice post about Camilla. I do think it was sweet of her equerry to dress in full uniform including bearskin for the children. 🙂

    1. Hi Cathy,

      You’re right, the uniformed equerry was a nice touch. I sometimes think that it would be great for the younger, royal women to dress up like a princess, tiara and ball gown, when visiting young children. I mean a princess doesn’t look like a princess in anything other than a ball gown and crown. 🙂

      1. Hi Lauri from Ca
        I totally agree. We’ve seen Madeleine of Sweden looking glamorous and pregnant. She looks like a Princess. But Kate who is also pregnant, with probably access to the same amount of money/ beauty products, just looked very ordinary on Christmas Day.

        1. Maddie had some great pregnancy style last time. And so far this time she’s looked great.

          Kate just doesn’t seem to know how to do the glamorous thing.

          1. Because she’s not a glamorous woman. She’s a little girl playing dress up and she still hasn’t gotten it right. Kate’s personal style would continue to be what we saw her wearing when she was dating William if others hadn’t stepped in to tell her what is or isn’t proper. And we all know how that has worked out for her.

          2. lol, Lisa, I was going to say she’s more like a 45 year old playing dress up because of how old she dresses.

      2. That would be great! Especially for the kids that like princesses, you know. There have been multiple occasions where little girls will dress up like Disney princesses when they meet Kate, and I’m sure those little girls would love seeing her dress up like a princess, too.

    2. Someone commented on Twitter that the equerry in full dress was overkill, but I like that he dressed up because I’m sure the kids got a real kick out of that.

      Merry day-after-Christmas!

  8. The equerry giving the kid his bearskin was the best picture for me. Camilla should wear that color more often. And to all KMR readers/commentators out there: Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year. I look forward to next year’s posts.

  9. I have become a Camilla fan. I think that this was an amazing event. The fact that she even served the kids and her family?! Love it! Camilla is an earth and vibrant woman. I will always appreciate her support of the not so popular causes. I think that she has proved her hard work and dedication.

    As I posted earlier, I love this blog. Tumblr can be a minefield and I love to learn about the Royals from so many points of view. I hope that you about ll have a happy and safe holiday.

    KMR – thank you for providing a space that is both fun, but also realistic and truthful.

    1. I, too, love that Cam takes on the less than popular topics. I kind of think it shows that she’s not taking the easy route. It would be super easy to garner love from the public by taking on causes that most everyone can agree on and that pulls at the heartstrings, but Cam take on other topics as well, and some that may seem a bit controversial for the PR-sensitive RF.

      Thank you! I hope you had a great holiday!

  10. That is by far the best I’ve seen Camilla look in ages. Not only her gorgeous and flattering outfit, but her smile and demeanor. She really seems to be enjoying herself.

  11. Aw this is heartwarming! Camilla looks great and really enjoying herself and I’ll bet it was a great thrill for the children and their families.

  12. Thanks, KMR for another lovely post. I’m also not a great Camilla fan, but this event really touched hearts Camilla looked lovely. So bright and cheery. I’m sure the children’s moods lifted when seeing her and also since they were given an opportunity to celebrate the holidays.
    I loved the photos of Camilla relating to the children. She really seemed to be enjoying them and did a lovely job of making them feel welcome.

    I’m also a fan of this site and thank KMR for a great place to visit and swap posts!

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