Disability news

Queen Camilla invites disabled children to decorate royal Christmas tree

Queen Camilla, Father Christmas, Isla, Morwenna and Mark Naden gathered around the Christmas tree at Clarence House

Children with life-shortening conditions have been given a festive royal treat after they were invited to help Queen Camilla put up the family’s Christmas tree.

One of the youngsters who was involved in the prestigious annual event held at Clarence House was Isla Naden, from Abingdon, Oxfordshire with her mum Morwenna and dad Mark.

The seven-year-old is cared for at Helen and Douglas House, where Camilla has been a patron since 2007.

Mrs Naden told BBC News: "We actually call her the queen in our household and she's a bit of a princess.

"And when we told Camilla that she thought it was hilarious and she was very pleased to meet another queen."

There was another surprise in store as well, taking his time out from preparing children’s presents at the North Pole, Father Christmas welcomed the children in the royal household before they were taken through to the library to decorate the Christmas tree.

To round the day off the children and their families were treated to an exclusive performance of We Wish You A Merry Christmas by the Band and Bugles of The Rifles.

Mr Naden went on to highlight the support her family has had from Helen and Douglas House.

She said: "Truthfully I can't put into words what they've done for us.

"They are there for our worst times and our best of times."

Jane Long, chief executive of Helen & Douglas House, said: "The children and families had such a magical time.

"It was wonderful for the families we care for to be able to visit Clarence House again this Christmas.

"Christmas can be a difficult time for these families, juggling the medical needs of their children with life-shortening conditions with the festivities.

"Christmas is also a time when they can make precious memories during their child's short life which they will treasure forever, and this will certainly be an occasion that they will always remember."

The special event also welcomed children from Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s charity.

[ This was the seventeenth time that families supported by the charity have decorated the Clarence House Christmas tree. ]

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