Duchess of Cornwall says we have to 'make the best of it' as she decorates Christmas tree via videolink

·Royal Correspondent
·4-min read

Watch: Duchess of Cornwall decorates tree via videolink with hospice children

The Duchess of Cornwall encouraged people to make the best of Christmas as she decorated the Clarence House tree via videolink.

Each year, Camilla invites children and their families from Helen and Douglas House children’s hospice to decorate the tree at the royal home, but this year the event could not take place.

Instead, children joined the duchess via video call, directing her equerry - Captain Charlie Ross - to place their baubles around the tree.

Though the event was hosted on Wednesday 16 December, details were released after London and the south east was plunged into Tier 4, throwing Camilla’s own Christmas plans into disarray too.

Asked about her plans, Camilla had said at the event: “Well I don’t really know. They are changing things every day. Every day we are going somewhere, and then it changes. I suppose we shall just be at home and see who we are going to be able to see.

“It’s not going to be a Christmas like others this year. 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. “

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 16: Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall waves off The Royal Brougham accompanied by Captain Charles Ross Assistant Equerry as the Duchess of Cornwall decorates the Clarence House Christmas Tree virtually with children from Helen & Douglas House Hospice, on December 16, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Eddie Mulholland - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall waves off The Royal Brougham accompanied by Captain Charles Ross Assistant Equerry. (Eddie Mulholland - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 16: Captain Charles Ross Assistant Equerry with the Clarence House Xmas tree and some of the baubles as the Duchess of Cornwall decorates the Clarence House Christmas Tree virtually with children from Helen & Douglas House Hospice, on December 16, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Eddie Mulholland - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
The Clarence House Christmas Tree was decorated virtually with children from Helen & Douglas House Hospice. (Eddie Mulholland - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 16: Captain Charles Ross Assistant Equerry with the Clarence House Xmas tree and some of the baubles as the Duchess of Cornwall decorates the Clarence House Christmas Tree virtually with children from Helen & Douglas House Hospice, on December 16, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Eddie Mulholland - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Captain Charles Ross Assistant Equerry with the Clarence House Christmas tree. (Eddie Mulholland - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Read more: Personal relationships have 'improved' between Prince Harry and other royals - but they won't come back, say authors

The Queen, 94, had already said she and her husband Prince Philip, 99, would have a quiet Christmas at Windsor, their first away from Sandringham in more than 30 years.

Windsor was placed into Tier 4 over the weekend, meaning the Queen won’t be able to see any family.

Prince Charles and Camilla, in Gloucestershire, remain in Tier 2, which means they will be allowed to see their Christmas bubble, but only on 25 December.

Tier 4 also impacts the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their three children, who will likely face a small Christmas at Kensington Palace now. They usually go to Sandringham, though in 2016, they spent the time in Bucklebury with the Middletons.

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 16: Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall  bearing gifts at The Royal Brougham with Captain Charles Ross Assistant Equerry as the Duchess of Cornwall decorates the Clarence House Christmas Tree virtually with children from Helen & Douglas House Hospice, on December 16, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Eddie Mulholland - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
She arranged for each child to get a goody bag of treats from the palace. (Eddie Mulholland - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 16: Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall with The Royal Brougham as the Duchess of Cornwall decorates the Clarence House Christmas Tree virtually with children from Helen & Douglas House Hospice, on December 16, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Eddie Mulholland - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Camilla sent the presents off by The Royal Brougham. (Eddie Mulholland - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Read more: Tier 2 or 3? How Boris Johnson's lockdown has hit the royal family

During the video call, Camilla, 73, spoke to Vicky Newell, whose seven-year-old daughter Jessica was born with a severe neurological condition, asking if the colours of the tree brought Jessica pleasure.

Ms Newell replied: “I think it does, yes, it gives her a lot of joy. And we can’t thank Helen and Douglas House enough, they have given us a lot of support over the years. We couldn’t do it without them.”

The duchess replied: “No, they are brilliant. Usually, I like having you all here, it’s very exciting getting everybody in and having lunch and seeing the Christmas tree. But like many things this year, it’s gone by the by. So we are doing the best here, with these screens, that we can.”

Britain's Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall stands with Vincent Evans 8, as he feeds Reindeer Blitzen with his handler Karen Perrins in the gardens at Clarence House in London, Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018. Each year, The Duchess of Cornwall invites children to decorate the Christmas tree at Clarence House. This December, the event was attended by children and families supported by Helen & Douglas House and Roald Dahl's Marvellous Children's Charity. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, pool)
Camilla usually hosts an in-person party at Clarence House, like this one where Vincent Evans was able to feed Reindeer Blitzen with his handler Karen Perrins in 2018. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 12: Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall hosts her annual children's christmas party at Clarence House on December 12, 2019 in London, England. The Duchess who is a Patron of "Helen & Douglas House" and "Roald Dahl's Marvellous Children's Charity", invited seriously and terminally ill children to Clarence House for a Christmas lunch and activities that included decorating a christmas tree and meeting reindeer. (Photo by WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Camilla, here in 2019, would usually invite children to Clarence House for the tree decorating in person. (WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Read more: Is this the picture that shows who will be in - and out - of the royal fold in 2021?

Camilla said about Helen and Douglas House hospice: “They are an incredible lot there, aren’t they? It’s so important to have someone at the end of the line you can call 24 hours a day.

“They just look after all these children so well. I always notice when I go in the atmosphere is very uplifting. It’s a very happy atmosphere.”

The duchess also sent each child a Buckingham Palace goody bag with a toy corgi, a guardsman Christmas decoration, a crown-topped pencil, stickers and a book by Charlie Mackesy.

The gifts were taken to each child’s home by the Royal Brougham, the horse and cart that takes post between Buckingham Palace and Clarence House.

Watch: Duchess of Cornwall's pet dog helps her unveil a plaque

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting