Duchess Camilla throws magical virtual party for children and keeps Christmas spirit alive

She spoke of how "it's not going to be a Christmas like others this year"

Duchess Camilla of Cornwall visits the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home
(Image credit: Photo by Steve Parsons - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Duchess Camilla of Cornwall has made one of her most heart-warming festive traditions virtual this year amidst covid-19 restrictions. 

The Duchess and her husband Prince Charles were due to be spending Christmas in Gloucestershire this year after the Queen was forced to cancel the Royal Family’s traditional family gathering at Sandringham.

Many other Royal Family Christmas traditions also won't be happening this year due to the pandemic.

However Duchess Camilla was not about to abandon one of her favourite festive traditions and turned to a video link to keep the Christmas spirit alive. 

What is Duchess Camilla’s Christmas tradition and how did she keep it going?

Each year Duchess Camilla decorates the Christmas tree in Clarence House, with the help of children with serious, life-limiting conditions. With the children unable to attend her Christmas decorating party this year, Duchess Camilla spoke via video link to children supported by Helen & Douglas House Hospice.

Helen & Douglas House Hospice provides medical, emotional and practical support to help families of children with life-limiting conditions, so they can make the most of their time together

She invited nine children to help her decorate the impressive Christmas tree in her hallway - with a little help from her Assistant Equerry Captain Charlie Ross of the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, of course.

The Duchess introduced him to the children, reportedly stating: "Here's Charlie in his bearskin and he is going to put your very own special baubles with your name on, onto the tree".

After the decorating was completed, the Duchess acted as a “Mother Christmas” of sorts, piling gifts for the children onto a horse-drawn carriage, telling the horses: “Get these presents to the children on time. I have faith in you."

Speaking of the wonderful work Helen & Douglas House do, Duchess Camilla is reported as having gone on to say: "They are really brilliant, aren't they? They are the best hospice I have ever seen”.

According to Hello! magazine, the mother of one of the children, said: "We can't thank Helen & Douglas House and HRH The Duchess of Cornwall enough for letting us experience this moment."

It’s clear how just much this magical Christmas occasion meant to the children and their families.

What has Duchess Camilla said about Christmas 2020?

As she ended the call, Duchess Camilla wished the children and their families "a very happy Christmas”, adding: “let’s hope for a better New Year. It was lovely to see you all". 

After the adapted festive event, the Duchess of Cornwall revealed her own Christmas plans.

As reported in the Daily Mail, Duchess Camilla said: "I suppose we shall just be at home and see who we are going to be able to see”.

There had already been speculation over whether or not the Duchess and Prince of Wales would be able to see either of their families this Christmas. 

It had been thought that Prince Charles might be able to see his parents, the Queen and Prince Philip, in a socially distanced manner at some point over the festive period, before the new restrictions were announced.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall attend an event to thank local volunteers and key workers from organisations and charities in Berkshire

(Image credit: Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo - Pool/Getty Images)

"It's not going to be a Christmas like others this year,” Duchess Camilla continued. “And we have just got to make the best of it. Even if it is just meeting up outside or in the garden.”

“We've got to talk to our families, it's just a question of trying to find the safest way to do it.”

Since then London and much of the South Eastern counties have entered Tier 4. Windsor Castle, where the Queen and Prince Philip are currently and where they will be celebrating Christmas "quietly" is in Berkshire which is also affected by the new restrictions. 

Whether Duchess Camilla and Prince Charles will be staying in contact with their families virtually this Christmas instead remains to be seen.

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use, Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!