Prince Charles and Camilla

Duchess of Cornwall opens Clarence House for children to visit

The Duchess of Cornwall opened the doors of her London residence, Clarence House, on Tuesday for children of two charities to visit and help her decorate the Christmas tree.

In one of the sweetest of the British royal family’s traditions, Camilla invites children who are part of two charities she is patron of, The London Taxidrivers’ Fund for Underprivileged Children and Helen and Douglas House to the home she shares with Prince Charles.

A group of the children arrived in a fleet of black cabs, driven by those who run the charity.

Looking to spread some Christmas joy, the Duchess is always very excited to have a house full of children who continue the annual tradition of putting the final touches of the tree and then take part in a lunch at the royal residence.

The excited Duchess even got down on the floor to the children’s level to hand out goodie bags to the kids.

This year marked the seventh time that youngsters from Helen and Douglas house were invited to Clarence House and the fouth time those from The London Taxidrivers’ Fund finished off the decorations.

Camilla became patron of Helen House in 2007. When it opened, in 1982, it was the world’s first children’s hospice, and was followed by Douglas House in 2004 to help young adults between the ages of 16 to 35.

Over 400 families from Oxfordshire and the surrounding counties are cared for by the two houses that offer practical and emotional support for patients and their family members.

The London Taxidrivers’ Fund for Underprivileged Children plans day trips including circus shows, theatre performances and a seaside summer trip for children with special needs.

Its patron since 2009, Camilla has seen the charity provide funds to families, children’s homes and hospitals to purchase toys, communication devices and essential medical equipment.

Each January, the charity also holds an annual ‘Mad Hatter’s Tea Party’ for 650 children.