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The Duchess of Cambridge touched hearts when she joined families to plant a garden during Children’s Hospice Week

The Covid-19 outbreak has kept the British royal family indoors for many months, but as lockdown restrictions begin to lift in the United Kingdom, the country’s working royals are getting off Zoom calls and resuming public duties again.

Most recently spotted was Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, who made a visit to The Nook, one of East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH)’s purpose-built hospices. The Duchess has been the royal patron of Each since 2012, and the visit came during Children’s Hospice Week.

As she worked alongside a volunteer gardener to create a sensory patio garden at the hospice, Kate met with young patients and their families at the hospice, including the Pope-Saunders, whose six-year-old son Sonny was diagnosed with a brain tumour in February.

“I’m always so blown away by families like yours, particularly having to go through all of this in lockdown. You show such resilience and bravery. You’re such an inspiration to us all,” she told the family.

Kate also shared words of comfort with Liam and Lisa Page, whose three-month-old son Connor was born with severe brain damage in March.

“Going through lockdown at the same time, when you can’t see your loved ones, you can’t share with people—there aren’t other families necessarily here that you can share your experience with.”

But what touched most people was the sunflower she repotted in memory of nine-year-old Fraser Delf, who passed on at Each's Milton hospice in January. He had lost his life to Coats plus syndrome—a rare condition that affects multiple organs and causes brain abnormalities.

In a video call to the Delfs with Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall earlier in the week, Kate had congratulated Fraser’s 13-year-old brother Stuie for raising thousands of pounds in aid of Each and told the family that she would be planting a sunflower in tribute to Fraser.

The sunflower is adopted as an emblem of hospice care, with its seeds representing patients and the surrounding petal symbolising love, care and compassion. According to the Delfs, it was also Fraser’s favourite. The family shared that they are very touched and “will be going to see Fraser’s sunflower” when they can.

This led many fans on social media to dub her the ‘Children’s Princess’, a nod towards her late mother-in-law Diana, the ‘People’s Princess’.

It’s a fitting title for Kate, who puts a lot of focus in supporting early years and children’s mental health. Earlier this year, the Duchess had launched a landmark survey inviting citizens of the UK to share their thoughts on giving children the best start in life.

Both Kate and her husband Prince William are also praised for their casual parenting style and for taking a hands-on approach with Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

In a report by The Sun, an insider told the tabloid that the couple would “never shout” at their children or give them time-outs, choosing to instead remove them “from the scene of the row or disruption” and talk to them calmly. Another source noted in the same report that the royal children always behave “impeccably” in public.

However, the Cambridge couple remains relatable parents, often sharing anecdotes about their three children during their appointments—from their latest interests to the adorable sibling rivalry.

During the visit to the Nook, for instance, Kate revealed, “The children are really enjoying growing their sunflowers, Louis’ is winning so George is a little grumpy about that!”

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