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Duchess Kate's childhood friend dies aged 33

Isobel Kennerley was a member of Kate's Brownie pack

by Gemma Strong

A childhood friend of the Duchess of Cambridge has passed away at the age of 33 after battling an inoperable brain tumour. Isobel Kennerley sadly died in May at the Duchess of Kent Hospice. Her family, including husband Scott and parents Christine and Simon, said she had fought the disease with "amazing courage and dignity". Her funeral was held a short time later at St Francis de Sales Catholic Church in Walsh Common.

Isobel, who had cerebral palsy, came to know Kate in 1990 through the Brownies, and went on a pack holiday with the future royal and her sister Pippa Middleton in Easter 1991. According to the Mail, the three girls slept in camp bunk beds in an old RAF building in Macaroni Woods in the Cotswolds, and were tasked with jobs including collecting eggs, bottle-feeding lambs and kid goats, as well as going for horse-and-cart rides.

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Isobel Kennerley was a childhood friend of the Duchess of Cambridge

"I really enjoyed it," Isobel later said of the trip. "Everyone was really kind to me because I have a disability. I remember going to brownie camp at Macaroni Wood and coming back to find an owl at the end of my bed. I don't remember what I did to deserve it, but I remember feeling really pleased."

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Following their time together in Brownies, Kate and Isobel went their separate ways. The Duchess ended up attending the private prep school St Andrew's in Pangbourne, and later boarded at Marlborough College in Wiltshire. Isobel, meanwhile, was a pupil at Engelfield Primary School before attending St Gabriel's in Newbury.

While Kate was studying History of Art at St Andrews University, where she famously met Prince William, Isobel did a degree in educational practice at Oxford Brookes. She went on to become a teaching assistant at St Bartholomew's School in Newbury, where she specialised in caring for autistic children. It was there that she met her future husband Scott; the couple went on to tie the knot in 2010.