Duchess Kate and Duchess Camilla make joint video call with 13-year-old fundraising star

By Heather Cichowski

Duchess Kate and Duchess Camilla had a special joint video call on June 17 with "fundraising superhero" 13-year-old Stuie Delf and Kate's patronage East Anglia Children's Hospices (EACH) to hear about the young boy's incredible fundraising initiative.

A video clip of the group's video call was shared on EACH's Twitter. The call was part of Children's Hospice Week, which runs from June 22 to 28 this year.

The duchesses heard from Stuie and the Delf family about how the teenager ran a sponsored 5K every day in May to honour the memory of his nine-year-old brother, Fraser, who passed away in January. Through his efforts, Stuie raised more than $25,363 for EACH.

According to HELLO! UK, Fraser passed away from complications related to Coats plus syndrome, a rare condition that can impact multiple organs, including the eyes, brain and bones. The Delf family spent seven weeks in an EACH hospice in Milton during Fraser's last days.

Kate and Camilla were very impressed with Stuie's efforts. When Kate asked who inspired Stuie, he revealed Captain Tom Moore, the 100-year-old who raised more than $54 million for NHS charities during the coronavirus pandemic, is his inspiration.

"Oh, Captain Tom. Captain Tom has done a lot for this country, hasn't he?" remarked the Duchess of Cornwall. "He's inspired so many people."

She added, "You must be very fit, Stuie."

MORE: Duchess Kate makes first in-person royal engagement since COVID-19 lockdown at a family-run garden centre

Camilla and Kate also spoke with Eddie Farwell, CEO of Children’s Hospice South West, and Clare Periton, CEO of Helen & Douglas House, a children's hospice in the Oxfordshire area.

During the video call, the royals also heard about how COVID-19 has affected the hospices and how they've had to adjust. They also heard how the families have been hit by the pandemic.

The Duchess of Cambridge called the children's hospices "extraordinary."

"It’s a credit to the staff that they can provide the environment, the nurturing space for those families to help them go through long or short term care," the mom of three said. "It’s really awe-inspiring."

Kate at the opening of a new children’s hospice for EACH on Nov. 15, 2019. Photo: © Toby Melville - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Stuie's mom, Carla Delf, shared additional details of the call with the duchesses.

"The call was very laid back. They were lovely and easy people to talk to," Carla reflected. "They told us their experiences of hospices, then asked us about our journey and a few questions."

She added, "I felt very honoured that we had that opportunity to tell our story."

Father Stuart Delf also revealed Kate promised she would plant a sunflower, the emblem of hospice care, at an EACH hospice in tribute to Fraser.

Last week saw the return to in-person engagements for many members of the Royal Family, as well as royals from around the world, as COVID-19 lockdown measures were eased. Duchess Kate made her first in-person royal engagement since the coronavirus lockdown to the Fakenham Garden Centre in Norfolk on June 18.

Kate made her first in-person royal engagement since the COVID-19 lockdown to Fakenham Garden Centre in Norfolk on June 18. Photo: © Aaron Chown - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Camilla and husband Prince Charles visited Gloucestershire Royal Hospital near their home of Highgrove House on June 16.

Prince William also emerged from lockdown on the same day. He met with the East of England Ambulance Service Trust during a socially distanced visit to the ambulance station in King's Lynn.

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