​Duchess Camilla throws a tea party for terminally ill children

Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, threw a “magical” party for children with terminal illnesses yesterday, serving them herself with kids' favorite foods — mashed potatoes and sausages.

The families travelled from an Oxford hospice to be at the party in London

The wife of Prince Charles, 67, refused to stand on ceremony and handed out the dinners personally to the children who were visiting her home, Clarence House.

Every year, Camilla invites a group of 12 young people and their families from the Helen & Douglas House in Oxford to come and decorate her Christmas tree.

The Duchess of Cornwall threw a party at Clarence House for a group of terminally ill children

Helen & Douglas House is a hospice that gives medical, emotional and practical support to families dealing with the implications of living with a child who will die prematurely, so they can make the most of their time together.

Camilla rolled up her sleeves to help, wearing a pretty fuchsia dress and patterned scarf, and chatted to all the families.

Camilla helped her staff make sure all the children were served the mashed potatoes and sausages

Kay Lyon, who has a 3-year-old daughter named Sienna who suffers from a rare genetic condition that affects her brain, said: “Helen House has been remarkable and the care they give Sienna just unparalleled.”

“The last three years have been filled with so much sadness. It is something we never expected and has opened up a whole new life for us. We don't know how long we will have Sienna with us so this is about up helping us to create some very happy and special memories. Today has been huge part of that.”

Guardsman Captain Fred Lloyd George helped Camilla out and saluted the children by the Christmas tree

Before dinner, the Duchess arranged for Captain Fred Lloyd George from the Welsh Guards to salute the children and open the doors to the main room where the royal Christmas tree is stationed and then help them all decorate it.

An emotional Camilla said, “It's lovely to see you all and I hope you have enjoyed yourselves.”

“This is one of my favorite things to do each year and seeing your faces as the door opens is magical. Helen & Douglas House is a wonderful, uplifting place. Everyone should visit it.”

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