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British RoyalsThe Cambridges

Boy’s family visits memorial sunflower planted by the Duchess of Cambridge


Screengrab/The Royal Family YouTube

When the Duchess of Cambridge spoke to the Delf family on a video call during Children’s Hospice Week in June, she promised to plant a sunflower in memory of their son Fraser, who died in January.

Days later she delivered on the promise and last week, the family returned to East Anglia Children’s Hospices (EACH) in Milton to see the flower planted in his honour, now in full bloom.

Mum Carla, dad Stuart and 13-year-old brother Stuie spoke to the Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Cornwall about nine-year-old Fraser, who was cared for at EACH due to Coats plus syndrome, a rare eye disorder.

Shortly after the call, Kate visited EACH’s The Nook, the Norfolk hospice she officially opened back in November, to help plant a sensory garden. In keeping with the family’s wishes, the sunflower she planted that day in memory of Fraser was moved to the hospice in Cambridgeshire where he spent the final weeks of his life.

The family saw the fully bloomed sunflower for the first time on 31 July, with the family “colour-coordinated as Fraser loved pink, with the pattern on Carla’s dress representing him – their shining star,” according to EACH.

The Delf family with the memorial sunflower planted by the Duchess of Cambridge. Photo: EACH

Carla said: “The sunflower looks so bright and beautiful, just like Fraser. The centre looks like a heart shape, just perfect. I recently saw a poem that said sunflowers choose to live their brightest lives as they know they won’t be around for long and that really fits with Fraser.”

To show his appreciation for what EACH did for his family, Fraser’s brother Stuie ran a 5k every day throughout May, raising more than £16,300 for EACH during its time of need over lockdown.

He told the Duchesses on June’s video call that Captain Sir Tom Moore had inspired him to do the runs, and he received a video message from Captain Tom himself congratulating him on his efforts.

Stuie is continuing to raise funds for EACH, as the charity has suffered a devastating drop in income due to the pandemic. His fundraiser can be found at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ourstarfraser.

About author

Kristin is Chief Reporter for Royal Central and has been following the British royal family for more than 30 years. Kristin has appeared in UK and U.S. media outlets discussing the British royals including BBC Breakfast, BBC World News, Sky News, the Associated Press, TIME, The Washington Post, and many others.