Her Royal Highness (HRH) The Countess of Wessex put her artistic skills to the test when she joined supported children and families for some cake decorating at Christopher’s on Tuesday 9 February, as part of our Guildford-based hospice’s 15th birthday celebrations.
The Countess, who is a Royal Patron of Shooting Star Chase and opened Christopher’s in 2001, donned an apron and set to work icing cupcakes and biscuits with royalty-themed tiaras and sprinkles before spending time talking with staff, children and parents. She even borrowed a photographer’s camera to give photo-mad supported child, Miles, a quick photography lesson.
Miles’ mum, Lisa, said about The Countess’ exchange with her son:
“The Countess asked Miles about his love of cameras – his face when he got to try out a professional camera was a picture! She also commented on his top and said her son loves camouflage too. Her Royal Highness is lovely and was so friendly to everyone in the room. We had such an amazing time and the event is just another occasion where Miles gets to do things he’d never normally do – all because of Shooting Star Chase.
“We’ve been supported by Shooting Star Chase for six years and they are an absolute lifeline to my family. I don’t know what we’d do without them. Having short breaks at Christopher’s means me and my husband can spend some time together and get some real respite – which is priceless.”
Seven-year-old Summer presented The Countess with a bouquet of spring flowers after HRH cut a specially-made 15th birthday cake and addressed guests, speaking warmly about the impact the charity has had on the local community.
“Today is about celebrating 15 wonderful years of an incredible service to the community and the many families who greatly need the help that it gives. It has been my pleasure to have been involved with this organisation for 15 years.
“These visits can often be brief so I’m very grateful for the opportunity to spend time with the children today, it has been a great pleasure for me. Thank you to the children for all the help in the cake decorating, it was very very artistic.
“Thank you also to everyone who works so incredibly hard to keep this place going, both here at Christopher’s and out in the community. Every penny counts so we need to do everything we possibly can to help Shooting Star Chase continue its really important work.”
After meeting The Countess, Summer gave her the ultimate compliment by likening HRH to a character from the film Frozen: “She was like Elsa, beautiful and with blonde hair. I gave her the flowers and she said she really liked them. And she told me I was good at cake decorating.”
Another young person supported by Shooting Star Chase, 21-year-old Sian, said: “The Countess of Wessex was amazing – she was so down to earth. I sat next to her when we were decorating tiaras to put on top of the cakes and she joked she was making a new crown for the Queen! I’ve been at Christopher’s for 14 years and I just love coming here. It’s one of my favourite places.”
On her way out, The Countess even created her own version of The Friendlies – complete with a crown! To see all the photos from the visit, go to our Facebook page.