Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall decorates Christmas Tree with Helen & Douglas House kids

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall decorates Christmas Tree with Helen & Douglas House kids

Keeping with her tradition, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall invited children from Helen & Douglas House to Clarence House to help decorate the Christmas Tree. This year’s event took place on December 14.

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[Clarence House @ClarenceHouse]

Camilla was joined by children and families supported by Helen & Douglas House, of which Camilla is Patron, and Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity. The children helped Camilla decorate the Christmas Tree before having lunch of sausages and mash and cookies. Camilla helped serve the children lunch, as she does every year, and arranged the food to form a smiling face.

Helen & Douglas House enables young people (0-35 years) with life-shortening conditions to live as well and as fully as possible to the end of their lives by providing palliative care at a specialist level for young people, through medical and nursing expertise, emotional and practical support.

Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity provides healthcare for seriously ill children. The charity creates and funds specialist nursing posts within the NHS across the UK.

Camilla spent time decorating the tree with the kids. To Violet Webster (pictured above), who was born with a hole in her heart and proudly said she was 2 and 3/4, Camilla said, “You tell me where you want me to put it.”

Six year old Neive Trainor, (pictured above) who suffers from seizures, was practicing her curtsy while she waited to greet Camilla. When Camilla came over, she said: “Well what a beautiful curtsy. And your lovely red shoes. They are gorgeous.”

Neive’s mother, Fiona Williams, said afterwards: “We can’t believe she has invited us here. What a wonderful day. Neive has so been looking forward to it.”

Camilla’s assistant equerry and Welsh Guardsman, Captain Matthew Wright, did the now traditional “placing a decoration on the Christmas tree with his sword” bit, although I don’t have any photos of it. Camilla also persuaded him to let the kids try on his bearskin hat.

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[Clarence House @ClarenceHouse]

Camilla wore a festive green dress by Bruce Oldfield.

All quotes from the Daily Mail.

128 thoughts on “Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall decorates Christmas Tree with Helen & Douglas House kids

  1. Camilla becomes better and better in fulfilling her role. The kids look really delighted and even proud to met her. Bet they had a great time, and that’s what it’s all about.

    1. ABSOLUTELY!

      DoC bring tears every year – this is what royal duty and service is about, just lovely!

      The lazy entitled snob middleton could learn …

    2. @Dolittle I started to tear up too.

      Camilla has such a wonderful light touch in all her gestures. It gives her a gracefulness that you rarely see anymore.

      I also love how she speaks directly to each child as if each and every one is the most important person in the room.

      How do children get invited to this Christmas event? One of the mothers was quoted as saying she couldn’t believe they had been invited.

  2. This must have been a wonderful day for the children and their families, and a really nice way of Camilla giving them some very special memories. Those cookies look really nice, too – certainly better than some cheese biscuits we saw a few months ago…

  3. If only we could see more of this kind of work as opposed to vague plans to target a mainstream issue but with no visible action plan. Camilla really has got it together with the personal causes she takes on. You can see and feel that they mean an incredible amount to her. I mean you can’t expect these things to matter to others if they don’t matter to you. She exudes warmth, caring, interest and understands what she’s doing and why. I make no secret of the fact that this engagement is my most favourite of the year because I want to see work like this, that makes a huge difference to the lives of those that receive it, from all the Royal Family.

    Well done Camilla.

    1. This is my favourite, too, and ITA. No constant manic grins either. Not only is Camilla welcoming and gracious, but she *serves* them as well. She really knows how to be an excellent hostess. Everyone looks quite at ease and the food is yummy. Really a festive children’s party, the kind that I remember.

      I loved how she responded to the little girl’s curtsey and shoes. Awww. Making people feel good is what it’s all about.

      This so warms the cockles of my heart. She’s such a natural.

      1. Camilla truly embraces her role. She engages her guests and from what I could see and her she listens and answers with real thoughts not the oh wow that we get from others. Her interactions with the darling girl with the red shoes warmed my heart this morning. Camilla has worked so hard to improve her image and I will say she has succeeded and I look forward to seeing more of her

        1. What I like about Camilla is that she doesn’t seem to seek public adoration, she just lets her work speak for itself. I think this event goes up to my list of favourites along with the WellChild Awards.

    2. Sophie is the same. Warmth and sincerity and a genuine interest in the people they meet while carrying out their work. They are both such positive assets to the BRF. Just wonderful.

    3. I agree. I love the charities she has chosen. And she is so good to the kids, and can really work a room. Great job Camilla!

      I love how none of the comments here are about Camilla’s appearance (as of yet) because we are happy with the work she does and the way she conducts herself.

      Yesterday the temp was in the low 70s, in my part of Texas. We wore t-shirts and walked the puppy. This morning it was 15. Yikes!

      1. Funny you should say that becaus I was going to comment on how she is using Bruce Oldfield for everything these days. What happened to Robinson Valentine? I know they split and Anna Valentine did a lot of work for DoC but not of late? Anyway I took this whole section out of my original post as it’s just seemed superfluous fluff when compared to the real Royal magic being achieved here.

      2. The only comment on appearance I’ll make is that this dress fits Camilla and the occasion so well. I adore watching her with her charities. She is so involved and genuine. A true example for the next generation (though they couldn’t give a sh*t less about being real or caring).

        We are also freezing to death in Texas. 70 yesterday in Abilene and currently 19. I can’t feel much of anything.

      3. I’m not saying people shouldn’t comment on Camilla’s appearance. I just think it telling that when people like your work and respect you, your appearance isn’t as commented on. For the record I think she looks great.

    4. I so ageee with you!
      The nobels prize event is one of my fave becuase of the tiaras and glam factor plus into a lot of the fields being honored. This Is right up there. I love how everyone there is engages and happy. I think Camilla has said she would do this as long as she could. This isn’t something that she’s made to do, looks bored at and stays the absolute minimum time wise. You can tell it means something to her.
      Job well done Camilla

  4. This is my favorite event on the BRF calendar!! This is a lovely event and I am glad that Camilla is the one hosting it, her and Sophie seem to have the most warmth and compassion for others. And how cute, to have arranged the food into smiley faces?!

  5. A dozen or so years ago, if anyone had told me that Camilla would become one of my favorite members of the BRF, I wouldn’t have believed them at all. I would have probably laughed if not too horrified at the thought. But she has. And it’s in large part because of this event. Her warmth, sincerity and compassion just shine here. And her involvement is so personal. Arranging and serving the plates, running off to find the ketchup, holding the children up to decorate the tree, just opening up your own home–not the for-rent public spaces nearby your KP mansion–but your actual personal living space that’s full of character and color. Lovely, lovely, lovely.

      1. Totally agree. Especially as I was such a Diana devotee but loving one doesn’t preclude admiration for the other does it? Well unless you are a rabid DM commentator perhaps?

        1. I didn’t follow the royals back then but I think it’s sad that people can’t see how much work she and Charles have actually done.
          People loved Diana becuase she had the glam factor added to the goodwill she did. I think they also forgave her the manipulative ways becuase of them. I used to think William was an attractive guy (we’re about the same age) but now becuase I don’t really like the person he is, find him very unattractive. I also find Camilla an attractive woman but I think it’s because of the work that she does

          1. I adored Diana until i began my working life.

            Not sure if it was teen idolatry or simply maturity that changed my opinion.

            Not helped by my first job in a media firm that had me collect newspaper cuttings of all our clients every day for my boss. I had to read all the papers, all editions printed and make cuttings.

            In the process, i read more about Diana than i will ever want to in this lifetime and the next.

            It was a war of words and stunt queening every.single.day.

            Her coverage was awful. The world was sick of her. MPs were calling her a loose cannon, papers were making fun of her. Private eye magazine had this running gag about how awful it was to be sick in the hospital and have Diana visit you because she was clearly doing it as a stunt.

            She was frequently described as manipulative and not quite right. Her own ex-staff publicly said she was a nightmare to work with.

            All her extra marital affairs were exposed especially Mrs Carling’s anger at the affair Diana may or may not have had with her husband who she threatened to divorce on grounds of adultery with Diana.

            She was heckled at a charity dinner in NYC…something about neglecting her ( boarding schooled) children was lecturing the world about humanitarian issues – she was there to receive a humanitarian award.

            In short, her coverage that final year and especially the summer was a huge, negative mess.

            And the more negative the media coverage, the more stunt Queening Diana did.

            As i was accidentally read about her everyday in the course of my job, i became so sick of her that on the morning of her death when i went to collect the 1st edition of sunday papers with headlining saying she was in a car accident, i thought it was another stunt. The newagent told me that she had since died and the paper’s headline would change, and i still didn’t believe it. Until i got back home and turned on the TV where her death was the lead item.

            The same newspapers that had been ridiculing her immediately discussed her as a saint. And it is that image that has stuck. The Queen mishandling the death also helped drive the image to sainthood because it allowed the media to whip the public into a frenzy regardless of the feeling already present.

            It’s hard to find the many articles criticising her in that final year because the internet wasn’t a thing, but some are archived in the free library website.eg

            https://www.thefreelibrary.com/I+told+Jane+when+she+took+the+job%3A+It+will+end+in+tears+.+.+Six…-a061314151

            https://www.marketingweek.com/1996/08/02/queen-of-pr-loses-heart/

            http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1996-01-22/news/9601230044_1_princess-diana-patrick-jephson-interview

            https://www.thefreelibrary.com/PRINCESS+P45%3B+AND+THEN+THERE+WERE+FOUR+..+HOW+32+ROYAL+STAFF+COULDN’T…-a061101119

            http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/january/15/newsid_2530000/2530603.stm

            http://www.apnewsarchive.com/1995/Princess-Diana-at-the-Hospital-Saint-or-Sinner-/id-5a7fd4ed6abf753fcb5cddf3684795d1

            With time, her life is examined as a whole and her image adjusted accordingly, but the coverage of her final year is mostly forgotten.

            If she had lived, she would be as reviled as Fergie, but for different reasons because her coverage had turned to relentless negativity. Her dying is what rescued her image.

          2. I was living in the North of England when Diana died, we had the first print run and I do remember Carole Malone from the Sunday Mirror had done an absolute hatchet job on Diana’s behaviour in 1997. By the time news was confirmed she had died it was impossible to stop the papers outside London being pulled. Had she lived, well you are absolutely right Hera, she was spiralling into chaos. Her relationship with William was fracturing, she had lost so many good friends and replaced them with spooks and charlatans and as for her love life……Do you think she was BPD or was it moving into Narcissistic and Histrionic personality? She really was not in a good place in those last months which is terribly sad as she had so much good in her. Xx

          3. I’m not familiar with psyciatric disorders so i can’t diagnose her condition, but i think at that point she was as addicted to the media attention as the media loved covering her. Good or bad coverage.

            I’m not sure if she would have managed to turn it around because the media was so hostile to her that final year.

            She kept pulling these stunts to garner more and more attention rather than pull back so i don’t know what the solution would have been.

            And those charlatans….oy vey!! Talk about seeing her coming.

            Given his resentment of her antics, i genuinely think she would not be friends with William in adulthood. He had already refused to join her on that summer of love and was fighting with her alot that summer.

            As much as people predict/speculate that Kate and the Middletons might not have happened with Diana alive, it’s ignored that William was already sick of his family by the time he was a teen. I don’t think he had any deep resentment for Charles yet. That was to come later when Charles’s team deliberately used him and Harry to promote Camilla and Charles as father of the year.

            I remember this one article that broke my heart for him. Around the time of the panorama interview, rumour started to circulate that it was going to happen. Article said that William’s housemaster insisted Diana talk to him to prepare him, she drove down and gave a perfunctory, ‘i’m going to do this interview, nothing too worry about, no controversy’ chat with him. Then the interview aired. And allegedly he wept buckets after watching it. And we all remember the fallout from it. That interview opened the door to negative coverage of diana.

            That summer, it was said he preferred to hung out with the royals because of privacy more than anything else.

            The pretzel logic of blaming the media for her death was understandable, but if he is honest, he remembers his mother’s feeding the beast too.

            When i first heard about Kate Middleton, my thought was that he had deliberately chased someone the polar opposite of his mother. No charisma, quiet, no stunt queening, not emotionally needy like his mother and utterly devoted to him. The last an unconscious parallel reflection of his father’s needy nature and a copy of the Charles/Camilla relationship.

            The Queen Mother, on the otherhand, would have seen off Kate and the Middletons for all the other reasons people object to them.

          4. Thank you for those links Herazeus. It was very interesting. I actually see a lot of her in her sons. They’ve each picked up certain traits. Really interesting.

          5. Thanks for the links. I found the marketing week one particularly interesting.
            I have this theory that the more attractive a person is, the higher the bs quotient goes and the more forgiving a person will be to them.
            Diana would fit into that theory. Becuase she was young, pretty, charismatic and dies young people have either conveniently forgotten some of her ways or never cared about them before. Meanwhile Camilla is seen as less attractive and vilified when she’s done some good things.

          6. Lisa/Sarah: Interestingly, the one about her visiting sick patients in hospitals was a semi-lie designed to throw the media off her on-going affair with Hasnat Khan.

            It’s true that she visited patients from time to time, but not as frequently as reported.

            When she was dating Hasnat, she would visit him at the Hospital using ‘visiting patients’ as the cover for her increased visits.

            When tabloids caught her at the hospital, she insisted she was at hospital to visit patients and nothing more. The truth was that she was visiting Hasnat 80% of the time and not patients. That affair was so secret that it only leaked out after it was finished.

            The resulting media coverage and mocking talked about her visits to see patients and not a word about Hasnat.

            Btw, speaking of abusing your position/ taxpayer funds, she contrived to visit Pakistan for publicly charity reasons, particularly Imran and Jemima Khan in Pakistan, and secretly visited Hasnat Khan’s family to introduce herself to try to pave the way gor them to accept her as a potential wife. That was the main reason she was in Pakistan at all.

          7. Okay the trip to Pakistan for charity but actually to meet the family just made me laugh out loud after the diversion to Toronto.

            I could swear I’ve seen all of this is that bad film about Diana. The trips to the hospital to see him, meeting his family. It’s all flickering across my mind as I recall that film

            Oh my, very much like their mother indeed.

          8. I remember the media bashing Diana too. I had just moved to London for a semester abroad in college. I was studying communications, with an eye on journalism. I arrived in July and noted how all the tabloids thought she was a terrible mum for taking her kids on these lavish vacations with foreigners she barely knew. As soon as she died, the story changed to how great a mum she was for taking her kids on these sunny and fulfilled vacations.

            This was my first brush with Diana, so I’ve only ever been interested in her as a media figure. I never bought the hype. Her funeral and the public mourning was such a shock to me. I bought books and recorded broadcasts to try and understand public fascination with her. Along with the Biogaphy channel story and a fawning program by David Attenborough, I have a recording by a British reporter of the media suppression that happened for weeks that followed her death. All stories had to be positive, even if they had been negative the week prior. Comedians couldn’t joke about her. Stores were pressured to close. There was a forced mourning thrust upon Britain, or at least London. It was the only news piece that acknowledged the people who weren’t in mourning, and thought her funeral was a rediculous spectacle. The memorable part was the end. The reporter asked, “Where were you when Princess Diana died? Who cares!”

            I pulled a tabloid out of the trash around the time of her funeral (still have it). The reporting was awful. Psychofantic babbling with no journalistic integrity. Not sure if I picked a bad publication or if that was a bad week, but exposure to all that put me off journalism. So I went into marketing. Out of the frying pan, into the fire!

        2. Personally, from this forum and others I have had my eyes opened, and not such a ‘poor Diana’ person. Can’t go too far with that, but Camilla is really cool in my book. This isn’t about competition **cough cough* or even praise for her, that is unless she’s a terrific actress, this is about being grateful for what she has and wanting to give back, and not just send a cheque and a keep up the good work note. Some of what she and Charles do must be as boring as watching paint dry, but she is gracious enough not to show it.
          To the Texans on the forum, you really got hit with a weather change and that’s no picnic. I’ve been to Texas once, San Antonio years ago and I thought that I would melt in the heat, so heavy and thick. Hope it stabilizes for you very soon.

          1. I must say that I am one who adored Diana. If, as some have said, she was in a bad state the last year of her life, then, I would like to be charitable toward her. The way she was hunted by the paps really was horrific. In a book I read last year, I was shocked by the vulgar things they said and the accusations of mental illness that were thrown at her by some of them. Never did she have a moment of peace when out in public.

            Look, every single person has flaws, but Diana did her best to care for others and shed light on so many important issues.
            She did not hide from responsibilities — even when she got divorced. She wanted to present a favorable image for her boys when it came to working.

            It’s easy to say bad things when she is gone. Blame her for problems that I think were beyond her control. She had no single person she loved who had her back. Really! From the time she was sent down the aisle until the day she died, I think there was a sadness there that must have been quite damaging.

            I have a wonderful aunt who took care of her parents at the end of their lives. Not one of her siblings helped out. My mom used to do what she could to assist her sister-in-law, but once my aunt was left to her own life, it took at least five years before she was able to do what she wanted to do. The horrible economy here in the States worked against her. The job market was brutal for someone who was off the labor force for so many years as a caregiver. People’s advice? “Oh, you are good with the elderly, why not become a health aide?”

            Nobody seemed to realize that this was a woman who once held top administrative jobs at top NYC companies. Or, that she was devoted to her own loved ones, but might not want to care for strangers.

            When she finally got herself together, she took some courses in interior design and now she helps people stage their houses for sale. She’s happy and enjoying life again. But, so many people had nothing but blame toward her when she was going through the toughest times. I really don’t like to hear bad things about Diana. I know she was not perfect, but I really cannot stand people tearing her down so. Sorry, I just cannot.

            P.S. I love Camilla’s way of relating to the children and parents. This event at Clarence House is a wonder! How delightful that it is an annual event.

    1. I was the same Lizzie, and KMR’s blog really opened me up to the great things that Camilla commits herself to, and I have been a complete convert ever since!

  6. Having a ‘special needs’ son makes this even more lovely than it is. I honestly don’t think that Camilla has a phony bone in her body, and what she said to that little girl gives me goosebumps. Memories to last a lifetime, and while Camilla’s past may not be pure, (like mine of course) she is very much a credit to the ‘firm’. Sincere, and goes out of her way to do for others. I hate it when people call her names, her looks are out of her control, but when you think ‘inner beauty’, Camilla has that. A lot of it. Had the ‘firm’ not been so bloody self righteous and rigid, and let’s not forget it takes two to tango, things might have been very different. Camilla is up close and very involved, she’s not haughty, these people were hosted by a woman, not an arrogant let’s get this over with female. I love Camilla for this, and I know I am echoing others but I think it’s good to have this woman, this caring compassionate down to earth woman given credit for her ‘heart’. She has done so much, and in Camilla’s case I don’t have the feeling that she’s just going thru the motions. People listen to her, she has opened up, and while I’m still not all that sure about ‘royals and their charity work’, this function is absolutely awesome and doesn’t have the glitz and glamour and photo op feel to it at all. Not even a little. And it’s not an easy thing to do, as I said I have a son who isn’t ‘normal’ and I’ve seen him mocked, patronized, pitied, and not an scintilla of that is evident here. It takes someone very special to do what Camilla is doing. (side note, our ‘special’ son has been a blessing, our other kids wouldn’t dream of treating anyone badly or making fun of them, and as a parent I know the pain and hurt and at time horrible guilt these parents go through on a daily basis.) Awesome event with wonderful people who truly do have a lot to offer this whacked out world, and they probably don’t even know how wonderful they are. Thank God for Camilla, and these parents, and all who give their time and risk their hearts.

    1. All the best to you and your family. I can’t imagine what it must be like to see your kid suffering because of other people’s cruelty.

      I agree with everything you said about Camilla. To me one of her moments that stuck the most was when she visited a charity for domestic violence survivors, I think it was this year. I remember seeing pics of her crying, genuinely upset. These little demonstrations of empathy make all the difference.

      1. Those sponge bags with cleaning items such as toothbrush and toothpaste, she produced for rape victims was genius too. Fancy no one thinking about something as obvious as that until Camilla started working with the charity. She’s really come into her own.

    2. The only thing I’d ever heard about Camilla was the affair. I don’t want to downplay that– they’re painfully awful for everyone involved. But in every other thing I’ve ever read of her she’s sounded pretty amazing. She seems to have a lovely relationship with her children. I read something about her children not going to boarding school because she wanted them to be closer. And she seems real and genuine with people. She didn’t have Diana’s “magic” and so people said she was stiff. But once she was able to just be herself I think she’s been amazing.

  7. Diana had more ‘presence’ which people responded to, but Camilla is more down to earth, what you see is what you get. What you get is a real, compassionate
    empathic woman. As far as her looks, she’s not glamorous like her predecessor, but I think she”s an attractive mature woman who dresses appropriately.

    1. When I see that video clip of her on her horse about to go out with the hunt when she was younger, she just exudes sex appeal. A very sensual, earthy woman. I bet men just adored her when she was younger.

  8. This is such a lovely event. And Camilla was great with these kids. This is what Christmas is supposed to be about. Children and giving back to the community. It is such a shame that Will and Kate don’t do things like this. How wonderful would it be for Kate to do a Christmas tea party with children from EACH?

    But I just have to say that my gut feeling is that something is going on behind closed doors with W and K. First, we find out they won’t release a Christmas card, then they won’t be at Sandringham for Christmas with the Queen, and now they even have arranged a Boxing Day shoot away from Prince Philip’s that was organized by Carole.

    Christmas is the one major time of the year (besides birthdays) when we all expect a picture or two from royal families to see the kids. How sweet would it be if W, K, and G and C posed for a picture in front of a Christmas tree and released it as their Christmas card photo? How hard would that be?

    I don’t know if there is trouble in their marriage (potential divorce) or if Kate is pregnant again or if W and K have had an argument with BP or CH, but something is going on. All of the other royal families do something for Christmas. Look at Camilla with these kids, or Victoria and Estelle accepting the firs, or how the royals in Monaco hand out presents. The fact that Will and Kate couldn’t even release one picture is very, very odd. And William, as future head of the Church of England, should at least attend church with his grandmother on Christmas day.

    Something is going on. I don’t know what, but this is all very suspicious.

    1. Very suspicious, and from what I understand the duke and duchess of don’t give a rat’s patooki aren’t even doing the Christmas walk. People are defending their choice, well all families have to make adjustments and trade offs, the ‘royals’ are just like any other family. In my opinion that’s a crock of rotten chutney!! How many ‘families’ are completely supported by the taxpayers, how many live in hedonistic luxury, and then have the temerity to treat their meal tickets like this. The one time of year when people expect to see the ‘show’ and these fools won’t even do that? This angers me. A lot.
      William owes his status to the people of Britain and the Commonwealth, waity katie owes hers to his idiocy and selfishness. His insistence on being who he wants to be at any given time, what he wants to play with. They ****owe**** the people the Christmas walk. I’m not up on who lives where, or the various names of palaces, but this is wrong wrong wrong. A slap in the face to his grandparents, to the people of his country, and just plain spiteful. Problems in paradise are very probable, may be in the ‘sleazy family’ that slithered in with Kate, but that’s no excuse. How many people have to fake their way thru things? I did, I loathed the annual Christmas party but I went because my husband was expected to be there. Hated it, but did it. Willie the wimpy Middleton could certainly take his wife’s hand and do that walk, waity’s smile is phony anyway so give the people a show. They deserve it, they’ve paid thru the nose for it, and you owe them.
      Rant over.

      We’re completely snowed in where I live, so I too want to extend my prayers to all of you for a beautiful wonderful Christmas, filled with peace and joy. I’m sure that you are already very grateful, I know I am. God Bless You, All of You and Yours.

      1. It only reminds me that Kate ditched the Irish Guards. W+K can host all the Middleton relatives at Anmer at Sandringham, enabling them to do the Christmas walk yet still spend the key moments on Christmas Eve and Day with the Middletons. Camilla manages the public Christmas events at Sandringham and then slips out quietly to spend the rest of the day with her own children and grandchildren.

        1. That was my thought too. If you really want to all be together “one last time” then do it at Amner! I kind of wonder if William asked if all of them could come to the hunt, was told no, and so they just went and organized their own.

    2. I read the daily mail article about the boxing day shoot Carole supposedly organized. I don’t know how true it is because it’s the mail but what struck me was there was a quote saying that Carole organized the shoot for William because he didn’t want to go to the one at Sandringham. If that’s true, how sad is that? His grandfather is 95. William won’t have very many chances to attend shoots with his grandfather left.

      1. If the DM had that story they were quoting the Express. Camilla Tominey at the Sunday Express had that story first. So I’d be more inclined to believe it.

      2. Might just be me, but I read the DM article as they would do Sandringham church walk Christmas morning and then decamp to Middleton Manor. Which means they would also be there for royal present opening on Christmas Eve. Maybe Philip didn’t invite the Middletons to the Boxing Day shoot? I wonder if the Queen broke tradition and invited Meghan and Kate had a hissy?

        1. No, W&K are not going to be there whatsoever, they will be at Bucklebury with Carole throwing William a shooting party at a nearby estate. God forbid William has a Christmas where the world does NOT revolve around him, eh?

          1. I can’t remember the last time William missed the Sandrigham shoot. He has always returned to Sandrigham for it no matter where he spent christmas in prior years.

            I find it interesting that Carole has organised a rival shoot for William. That is like a worm in my brain that’s got my spidey sense going because the boxing day shoot is Philip’s thing. And as far as we knew, Philip and William do not have issues. Or if they do, they are not significant enough to warrant a total boycott such that Carole has to organise a rival one.

            Then again, does anyone remember when the Middletons rented a house near William one year during the girlfriend years so he could join them, but then he stayed with the royal family?

            Given the details that emerged of that adventure, it was in service of the WK relationship, so i’m guessing this particular panderimg to William is in the same service?

            Thoughts?

          2. I’d think so too.

            And remember, William not showing up to Sandringham for Christmas when Charles was without Harry as he was deployed, so he left his father alone on one of the most important days in the Christian calendar sans Easter (and we know W&K do nothing for Easter).

            I think something is up, but also it could just be the usual Middleton pampering and spoiling of their favorite in-law. William wants what William gets. Isn’t there talk he’s rarely at Anmer? And it’s Carole nad Kate there, William off doing whatever he wishes?

          3. Wouldn’t be at all surprised if PP has told William to get his effing finger out and get his effing wife to start earning her keep. And then William has an enormous sulk and boycotts Sandringham and the RF this year? Since when did PP hold his tongue when something needed saying?

          4. @Mrs BBV – I could see that, and the talk was last year they were all scoffing and scolding W&K for being so lazy and workshy… William is in a sulk. And the Middletons love it, ’cause it reminds them of their influence. He loves them best, because Uncle Gary’s money gives ’em a lot of leverage with him. The holidays, the personal shoot just for William, it’s all perfect for him ’cause it’s all FOR him and nobody else. Mememmememe.

          5. Where’s Jecca going to be this Christmas? Is Carole doing her darned best to control William, to not allow him any chance to slip away and see someone else? Guarding her investment? The Middletons made sure to be at the Tusk Awards this year for the first time. That, plus Kate’s new gesture of placing her hand on William’s thigh when photographers are snapping away, makes me think that the Middletons are marking their territory and that there’s truth to rumors of an affair.

            Or perhaps Hedgefund James and Donna Air want to be included with the Middletons this Christmas, but the Queen wouldn’t welcome them on the Christmas Church walk so William’s throwing a tantrum. If the whole mass of Middletons are not going to be a part of it, then neither are he and Kate.

            At any rate and on another point, how convenient is it for William that he has not yet had to work with the EAAA for the Easter holiday weekend or for any of the Christmas holiday periods? He’s clearly not necessary there and most likely a major headache for them. Hope the rest of the EAAA staff and others who provide critically-needed services still manage to have a wonderful Christmas holiday with those close to them.

          6. At first I thought the issue might be Kate, but the news about the shoot confirms that it’s Will having a pout. I am sure he doesn’t want to hear about how lazy he was again this year, and really how much as he worked at EAAA to make up for the lack of Royal work? They would know it’s not very much.

            Carole is obviously placating him and he loves it because his family doesn’t treat him like a god. This won’t last forever though. Charles at some point will have to put his foot down and with public sentiment starting to turn against W & K, he will have to take up his responsibilities and drop the fake job.

            i know it’s not usual protocol, but it would be hilarious if Meghan suddenly was invited to Sandrignham. If Will can flout tradition then maybe it can be turned on him.

          7. Why does William seemingly have such a chip on his shoulder when it comes to his family? Is it a hold over grudge over the way he perceives they mistreated Diana? I just can’t figure it out. They have given him so much.

          8. Carter: I don’t think it’s that simple because he has recently revealed resentment towards Diana too in his efforts to justify being a stay at home dad.

            I have a theory that it’s a combination of factors top of which are 3 issues he can’t reconcile.

            1. His destiny. He understands or used to understand what lay ahead, but he has never accepted it. The Queen once said about her destiny that if you didn’t accept your it, you couldn’t figure out how to make it work and you would resent it. I think William has never accepted his destiny beyond understanding the material priviliges it affords him.

            2. The Middletons and friends of such ilk. For the most part the Middleton children are idle. Like aristocrats of all. Ditto all his friends. When he visits all of them, including Ma and Pa Middleton, it’s only for pleasure or they make it look like pleasure in an otherwise idle life. He has never seen the work that goes into all of it. Has no understanding of the work the Middletons had to do to get to their position.Like living in a 5 star hotel and never appreciating the work that is behind the hotel services/facade. No one troubles him with problems. His life is made easy at every turn, be it working at EAAA or RAF or visiting friends. Even the childcare, such as he indulges in, seems to be done principally by Kate, Carole and the teams of nannies. He has come to fetishise this existence as normal. This is what he thinks his life should be. Easy at every turn.

            3. His hatred of the media. That one started when he was a young child. Calcified into hatred when his mother died.

            Between those three top things of all that he resents, his blood family insists he stop whinying and get on with it. By all accounts, last christmas the royals could talk of nothing else but his workshy ways. Remember how he was enjoying his walk to church with all the Middletons when the Queen’s LIW summoned him (and Kate) to join HM and Philip at a nearby memorial dedication after the service?

            They insist he works for his privileges, which he hates, do the usual media attracting events, which he hates, and work towards his destiny, which he hasn’t accepted.

            And so the resentment grows……

          9. Thank you Hera & Mrs BBV for your explanations and insights!! So with this whole Bucklebury v Sandringham Christmas do you think they will still attend the Queen’s luncheon? Aaaaaawwwwkward!!!! If it were me I couldn’t stand the tension.

        2. I commented down below about how the DM article is worded. It says they’ll leave before the Christmas dinner so alludes to the fact that they’ll be there in the am.
          It is the DM tho and high journalistic standards never apply

          1. Hera & Sarah, When I saw that I wondered if he had been persuaded (most likely by manipulative Carole) to reconsider attending just for the church stroll. Carole is very busy co-opting W’s loyalty and positioning herself as the chief female in his life, but not attending church with the queen was a bit too rude, even for Carole. I think W’s horrible behavior is the result of the Midds not being invited to Sandringham this year.

            I agree, something more is up. KM is considered a royal failure, W is now beyond bored with his life, the Midds are in money trouble (Pips’ fiance gave £100,000 to the Midds for the farcical marshmallow enterprise just before the engagement was announced). Rumors of a Mike and Carole split. Carole sees her chance for a title slipping because Charles doesn’t much care for her.

            There is trouble ahead.

          2. Carole has positioned herself as a principal advisor to William; she obviously mainlines obsequiousness and can placate him. The rival shoot is a really bad idea. It unequivocally draws attention to an obvious schism between William and his family, plus paint him as unempathic to his elderly grandparents. Whether the pout is a result of the Windsor’s finally growing a spine and calling William and Kate on their pathetic performance, or the Middleton’s en masse not being invited to dinner, who knows. If his hatred of destiny and press coupled with disdain for work is all-consuming, the remedy is simple: withdraw and live privately. However, William lacks the moral courage to do that. Plus he seems not to have cottoned on to his in-law’s insatiable thirst for status through him.

          3. @Jen, I think Carole lost her mind when G was born. She is sanctioning W’s disrespect towards the Queen and Charles by planting stories of her wonderfulness all written to look generous when in fact it’s petty, mean spirited, and smeared with greed. Hilarious and pitiful that she’s putting together a bizarro universe like the hunting party in an amusement park to reflect the real deal. But that ‘s Carole. She is unbelievably desperate and crude. By the way, who pays for this park and the Midd Christmas. Suspect it’s all been charged to the tax payors.

            Yes, I so agree. W needs to be relieved of any role in the BRF and the associated wealth. He’s a weak, hypocritical, stunted human. His choice of wife is the same.

          4. Maybe they realized what poor optics it would be not to do the walk?
            I don’t know much about James but I’ll give him credit for at least trying to work. His business may be an epic failure but it’s more than the girls ever did. Do they still have their party business? He should just take over that.
            On a side note. I hope Philip doesn’t actually do any hunting, slightly alarming when you think about a 95 yr old out with a gun

          5. Sarah, You are being kind to James Midd. It seems the MIdds over indulge their adult children without ever asking anything other than they marry wealth and a title. James’ forays into confection enterprises have failed because he’s a dope. That Carole turns to her in-laws for large cash gifts (W with helpful downpayment for a new manor and James Matthews for money to keep Boomf from failing) points to Carole’s hopes that she will profit greatly from these marriages. She has used her children for financial gain.

      3. So I actually went over and read the DM article. It makes no sense to me. They said they’ll be leaving before Christmas dinner. So wk will actually be there in the am or is it just another poorly written DM article?
        I know it’s been said many times but this could very well be Phillip’s last Christmas (he looks increasingly frail to me) so you’d think they would make the choice to be them as much as possible.

    3. I too think there is something rotten in the state of Denmark. I’ve thought this for a while and not just before this series of events. Perhaps Kate made an unilateral decision that she would be going to Bucklebury with Prince George and Princess Charlotte for Christmas and so Prince William is following along. Not that I imagine he’s unhappy about it; luckily, he enjoys his wife’s family. After the Middletons spent Christmas at Anmer Hall last year for Christmas lunch, I supposed it would be the new format for the Cambridge holidays and I thought it nice that they would get to see both families.

        1. I think William has pretty much isolated himself away from his whole family.
          Seeing those pics with Harry and Mia were so cute, wouldn’t we love to see a pic of uncle Harry with George or Charlotte! Ditto Charles and grandkids.

  9. what cute photos, the kids look like they are having a blast.thats what it should be about the kids.

    I don’t think it’s odd that W&K are to spend Christmas with the Middletons. Didn’t they say when they first got married that they were going to spend every other Christmas at the Middletons?

    Obviously, I don’t think they can visit them every other Christmas, but every once in awhile seems okay to me

  10. I also felt a lump in my throat and shed tears when I read this post. Camilla is exceptional. So kind and caring and did her part to make the kids and their families feel happy and relaxed.
    I loved her with the little girl decorating the tree. I loved the little girl trying on the huge bear skin hat, too! Just amazing.

    Camilla looked festive and caring in her bright green dress Her holiday spirit will shine forever in the memories of those who attended.

    Oh, and those cookies! Santa would love some!

    Thanks, KMR, this is just want Santa ordered to keep the stressed out people who are trying to do it all at the holidays, feel more relaxed and happy.

    An early Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays greeting to all. I hope the New Year will be one that keeps the special spirit of this season throughout the days to come!

    1. I like the color and shape of her holiday dress, but the execution isn’t that great. Maybe a slightly firmer fabric and lined? It ends up looking like it was made out of 70s polyester.

  11. I’ve loved reading about this event for a few years now. Camilla never disappoints. The little girl practicing her curtsy had me tearing up too. This party she hosts shows what kind of woman she is inside. Someone cold and calculating wouldn’t have the connection she has with these kids every year. And everyone looks like they have such a great time.

    Such a nice thing to close the year out with. Thank you KMR!

  12. The BEST royal engagement of the year, of any of the RFs. I always get emotional. She serves them with such joy and clearly enjoys her time with these children and their families, giving them a special memory to last a lifetime. Camilla’s good people, for sure.

    Thanks KMR!

  13. WIlliam gave out the major awards at tonight’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards. He was sitting next to a glorious, accomplished and modest athlete, Jessica Ennis Hill. SHe assisted in the announcement of the awards alongside William. Jess looked stunning in an off the shoulder black dress. I did a double let take first and thought it might be Kate. As a casual, interested observer I did wonder if Jess stood in for Kate. Kate attended solo 4 years ago and gave Bradley Wiggins his award; Jess was the runner up on that occasion and there was some awkwardness as I recall when Kate mistimed her handshake with Jess. Kate’s first pregnancy was announced earlier that month.

    PLease delete KMR if this is not appropriate.

    1. With this whole Christmas hullaballoo and how William wants all attention on him at all times, and Kate is the same, I can see that could be one reason she doesn’t show. She’d upstage him at events like this. She wants the spotlight on her; he wants it on him.

      1. @Matty

        Yes, I thought William looked and sounded awkward. His speech/congratulations to Michael Phelps seemed to have been ‘spontaneous’ or unrehearsed and not always clear in meaning.

      2. Twitter is being critical of his speech saying it seemed unrehearsed and questioning if he was tipsy. I haven’t seen it, but found the comments interesting.

  14. Sorry to thread-jack but I thought this might make for entertaining reading for those here at KMR! Personally, I would love it if Mary took Kate under her wing, at least Kate’s posture might improve but I sincerely doubt the accuracy of this article. I mean what would Kate bring to the table here? How could she possibly help Mary through her transition to Queen?

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-4046368/Princess-Mary-Duchess-Cambridge-close-friends-royal-aides-say.html

    1. “They are truly modern royal women” – HAHAHAHHAHA No. Kate is not a “modern royal woman”.

      “Mary and Kate are at a ‘very similar stage in their royal life.'” – Not in the slightest. Mary has been married for 12 years. She had four kids before Kate even got married. She has her own Foundation and works with the UN. Gives good speeches, etc. Kate has been married for 5 years with two kids and cannot even work a full load of royal duties. Can barely give a speech, doesn’t have her own Foundation and just this year did her first solo overseas visit. They really aren’t anywhere near the same stage in their royal lives.

      “Kate’s close friend Jessica Hay” – Oh, well, there you go. Yeah, I don’t believe that Jessica Hay is any sort of friend or confidante to Kate. Hay has made a living for herself by selling Kate’s name to Australian magazines, but come on. It’s been years since they were friends – if they ever really were.

      1. I am so glad this made you laugh KMR!!!

        I have to say that I’m curious to see which Royal Reporter loses the office pool this year and has to write the annual “Kate is Keen to work” “Kate is Keen to do more” etc, etc you know, the annual career killer articles. While it’s not a tradition I’m fond of, it’s always interesting to see who drew the short stick and has to write this dribble for a year. Yep career killer articles.

    2. I’m not in so charitable mood, I am afraid. Why should anyone take Kate under their wing, when she has made it clear she needs no help? Really! When she first ed, that was the time to look for a mentor. But, now? It’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks.
      Really, if she had any concern for her role as Duchess, she would be working her best to fine-tune her skills. And, she does need help in many areas.
      She just thinks everything is perfect the way it is, I think.. Oh, bad me. It is the holiday season and I am being so nasty. Ok, maybe, she needs help, but will she take it?

      And, William needs some lessons in doing a better job and brushing up his image, too!

      1. KM has no intention of working to earn the title duchess. Why should she, in her mind she has everything already and expects the rest to fall into her lap eventually. She doesn’t understand the concept of work.

        That’s why I think it’s difficult for many people to understand her. She’s someone who was rewarded for not working, for being able to have every comfort without ever picking up the tab.

        In addition, she doesn’t like other people, just like her weak inept husband.

          1. Maven, I sometimes have the same thoughts. But I think Carole has all the traits of a con artist. Weaseling money out of sons-in-law, stealing furniture from the BRF inventory to furnish Bucklebury, living off the tax payers while staying full time at Amner. Acting hurt and surprised when people call her out for her obvious greed.

            She is a consummate con artist who uses people including her own children to gain advantage. This myth that they are a happy, close family is another lie that they try to cram into the public arena. Everything about them seems contrived and dishonest.

    3. Please! We know Kate doesn’t have any real friends! Did they even talk when they were at ascot this yr? It seems they were with the wessex’s. The go to peeps the BRF sends to other Royal events.
      I don’t know much about Mary but after seeing Kate’s atrocious outfit today can say that Mary who is older, dresses much better!

  15. I’m going to sound such a snob but Carole is renting a place for William and the en masses Middletons to shoot on Boxing Day. Royals don’t go shooting at rentals, they stay with other aristocracy who have a minimum of 30 000 acres of their own to shoot on. This more than anything really shows the fracture of William from his roots and traditions and the middle classisation of our future King. It’s all so crass and nouveau. It’s the kind of thing middle class boys do on a stag weekend with a bit of quad biking thrown in. Not something he was born and bred to.

    1. I’ll join you in the snobbery because that was my first reaction to ‘renting a shoot’ for William. And not a very big one. Basically, William has chosen to go to McDonalds instead of his own home grown meal.

      It’s extra funny because middle class people do not go shooting unless they aspire to aristcratic pursuits. Exception proper country folk involved in the countryside, but that’s a different conversation.

      So William has foregone his own family’s renown shoot for a downmarket rent-a-shoot doing what wannabe aristocrats do!!!!

      Mind you, it’s on a par with Kate loving Downton Abbey and visiting the set for hours when she can’t handle her own downton Abbey life and Carole has to organise it for her.

      1. I just knew you would get my train of thought but to a non Brit it might just seem as if they are replacing like for like. But the thought of the Duke of Edinburgh renting land to have his Boxing Day shoot because Sandringham say had a foot and mouth outbreak…. it’s just unthinkable. The Newbury venue is the size of a large car park, actually it probably is a car park when the house is open during the tourist season. William is really dumbing down here. Oh well it will give them something else to talk about at the Big House instead of what a lazy pair they are. If William cared one joy about his reputation he would have been seen to have put a shift in at EAAA over the Christmas period. As it is he’ll have another three week Christmas holiday before they trot off to the Caribbean. Shockingly arrogant. Pride is coming before a bloody great fall IMO.

        1. Joining the snobbery train here. The Middletons are the definition of nouveau riche. And this whole renting to shoot is just another example of it.

          1. +1. It’s so tacky, looks like they are trying to stage a budget version of Christmas at Sandringham. So much for William wanting a normal middle-class family celebration.

        2. Thank you for explaining… of course I see the snub to his family, but you’re right, as an American I had no idea the differences between the shoots and what they communicate. Yikes.

      2. Love the McDonald’s analogy! Thank you Mrs. BBV and Herazeus for putting the Middleton’s shoot into perspective for us non-Brits. I had looked at the website for Yattendon and thought it looked nice, but that it was geared more for tourists. And how tacky…imagine William averting his eyes when they bring the bill to Carole, itemizing the number of birds and the overage for which they are responsible for paying. Though perhaps because of her “royal connections” the staff will be a bit more discreet in seeking Carole’s payment.

        1. Lizzie, Very tacky. But Carole is so blinded by her social climbing mindset that she believes she can recreate everything royal by simply getting everyone together at a rent-a-park recreation site. Once again completely missing the point of a real shooting party. Carole has energy, drive, organizational skills but is heartless, possesses poor taste, is supremely self centered, greedy beyond belief and overall not very bright.

          1. I’m sure Carole will be throwing a party pieces theme party on the site, something that would go along nicely and matchy matchy with the shooting. 😉
            I hear Harry will do it properly by joining an aristocrat for Boxing Day. Oh the joys…

          2. Indiana Joanna,

            Good points. It all sounds so creepy, recreating an alternative experience-“okay dear, you can’t have a royal experience because you are so put upon but we can give you a fake one and you won’t even notice the difference. Would you like cheese toast with that?”.

            Like the Duchess of Dolittle, Carole is deeply shallow and therefore completely tone deaf. And it’s obvious that Willy has absolutely no sense of what it means to be royal. To him, it’s all about nursing on a big fat pacifier and having someone change his nappies.

        1. Now this is a story about some family schemin’
          My life flipped, turned upside down
          I’d like to take a minute, just sit down in a hurry
          I’ll tell you how I became the king of Bucklebury

          … I don’t have the creativity to do a real parody, but Mrs BBV, that is what I thought of when you said rhyming. A rap about Wilnlot the Great!

    2. LOL! This is rich! I love it! Willy is being downgraded and he doesn’t even know it. The fact is, this merely makes Willy a big man in a little, bourgeois (rented) pond. He prefers wholesale worship and to be ‘taken care of’ just like his child wife, away from his ‘demanding’ family and social set. Bwahaha!

      I guess this makes Willy a social backslider, clawing his way to the bottom of society rental by rental. We plebs are not amused. He’s got a nerve trying to climb his way down into our set. 😉

      1. To quote my favourite author:

        “If you were sensible of your own good, you would not wish to quit the sphere in which you have been brought up.”

        Good old Jane Austen…..a quote for every situation. ??

          1. There is a Lady Middleton in ‘Sense and Sensibility’, as well. Who is a bit of a snob. I had to laugh when I remembered that with Carole.

  16. I am so pleased that Camilla does this tradition. The delight on the children’s faces. Especially Camilla helping put the decoration on the tree with the girl and the massive guard’s hat. I like the stocking gingerbread as well. Every detail has been thought of. Camilla really does shine in her charity work and interacts so well with the children.

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