Kate opens up on ‘difficult year for everyone’ in heartbreaking note to children’s hospice


KATE, Duchess of Cambridge, has spoken about 2020 as “a difficult” year for everyone in a heartbreaking message.

Kate penned a moving message to mark the beginning of Children’s Hospice Week. In her statement, the Duchess of Cambridge celebrated the vital work carried out on a daily basis by hospices in support of ill children and their families.

Her statement read: “The last year has been difficult for everyone, and especially tough and frightening for families with seriously ill children.

Kate penned a message to mark Children's Hospice Week (Image: GETTY)
Kate penned a message to mark Children’s Hospice Week (Image: GETTY)

“Many started shielding long before others, worrying about the pandemic and what it might mean for their children.

“The theme for this year’s Children’s Hospice Week is ‘Pushed to the Limits’, recognising the tremendous strain these families face, and why the care and support of their local children’s hospices is needed now more than ever.

“Children’s hospices are a lifeline, and I have been privileged to see first-hand the remarkable work they do. 

Kate marking the opening of The Nook in 2019 (Image: GETTY)
Kate marking the opening of The Nook in 2019 (Image: GETTY)

“They give families the care and time they need to make treasured lifelong memories – the chance to be parents, not carers.

“Vitally, they are also there when it is time to say goodbye, making sure a family has privacy and dignity so they can grieve together, and are able to receive support for as long as they need it.

“I hope you will join me this Children’s Hospice Week in thanking the UK’s 54 children’s hospices and their incredible staff for the life-changing care they provide to children and families facing the unimaginable – helping them to make the most of every precious moment together.”

The message was signed off by the Duchess with her full name, Catherine.

Kate became patron of EACH in 2012 (Image: GETTY)
Kate became patron of EACH in 2012 (Image: GETTY)

It was penned on a letter bearing the Duchess’ monogram – a ‘C’ with a coronet on top of it.

The poignant letter was shared by East Anglia Children’s Hospital (EACH), one of Kate’s patronages.

Kate became patron of EACH in January 2012, and has since cast a light on the work the organisation does on a local and national level.

In 2019, Kate celebrated with a visit a major success of EACH, when it unveiled its new Norfolk Hospice called The Nook.

Kate spoke about 2020 as a 'difficult year' in her statement (Image: GETTY)
Kate spoke about 2020 as a ‘difficult year’ in her statement (Image: GETTY)

EACH was established in 1998, when a hospice in Milton merged with another one in Quidenham, Norfolk.

While the Norfolk hospice was launched in 1991, the Milton branch had officially been opened by Princess Diana on August 1, 1989.

EACH’s mission is to improve the quality of life and wellbeing of children and families under the association’s care by providing individual and comprehensive services at all times.

Over the past 10 years, Kate has focused much of her royal work on the early years and the wellbeing of children.

Kate visiting the hospice in Quidenham (Image: GETTY)
Kate visiting the hospice in Quidenham (Image: GETTY)

Kate’s letter comes a few days after she officially launched the Royal Foundation’s Centre for Early Childhood.

The centre aims at changing the way the country think and act on the first five years in the life of children.

During this period of time, the experiences children make are important for their future development, the centre noted.

Kate’s letter marking Children’s Hospice Week was followed by another message, penned by the Duchess of Cornwall.

Kate's royal work is heavily focused on the early years and children's wellbeing (Image: GETTY)
Kate’s royal work is heavily focused on the early years and children’s wellbeing (Image: GETTY)
In a message to families being supported by hospices, as well as to staff and volunteers working at these organisations, Camilla said: “Once again, it is Children’s Hospice Week, so I wanted to send a message to all the families across the country who are caring for terminally ill babies, children and young people.

“You face enormous, heartbreaking challenges and you are much in my thoughts and prayers.

“I also wanted to thank the brilliant staff and volunteers who work wonders to help short lives to be lived to the full, creating precious memories and providing comfort and support to all those who come through your doors.” 


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