Queen Consort asked to set up royal playdate with Princess Charlotte
The Queen Consort played matchmaker when she promised a little girl she would pass on her note requesting a playdate with Princess Charlotte.
Camilla made her pledge to eight-year-old Charlotte-Rose Hickson when she visited Storm Family Centre, a charity supporting domestic abuse survivors in south London, an experience she described as a privilege and honour.
The organisation, based in Battersea, also provides a range of services for the community from education tuition to counselling and the Queen Consort tried her hand at some of the workshops on offer, making a scented candle and signing a painting.
When she joined members of a lunch club having a cup of tea, the eight-year-old, know to her family as Charlie-Rose, passed the slightly crumpled note to the royal guest.
The eight-year-old said afterwards: “She said she would give my note to Charlotte, I’m hoping she’ll agree, you never know, and I think I’ll go to her house.”
The schoolgirl who has donated toys to the centre was joined by her dad Wayne Hickson, 39, invited to the event as his mother is a volunteer with the charity.
He joked: “My daughter’s got a sign saying ‘The Original Princess Charlotte'” and he said she wrote the note on the train to London, from their home in Surrey, after he revealed they were going to an event where Camilla was the guest.”
Mr Hickson, 39, added: “We were just taking about this a while back and I said if you get a chance to meet the Queen, you don’t want to regret not mentioning it.
“She took it and definitely said she would pass it on, so watch this space.”
Storm was founded by Marie Hanson in 2004 after, as a heavily pregnant mother, she found herself living in her car after fleeing domestic violence.
Ms Hanson hosted Camilla for the visit which included the royal sitting down and listening to the experiences of a group of women supported by the charity.
In an impromptu brief speech the Queen Consort told her host: “I’d like to say a huge thank you, to you, for all you’re doing for domestic abuse and (these) women being abused.
“I’ve been to a lot of centres all the way around the country, but I seldom come to ones like this where there’s so much going on to help the community.”
She added: “Thank you everybody who’s been part of Marie’s mission, I feel very privileged and honoured to have come and visited you today.”
One woman, who did not want to be named, broke down as she told Camilla she had suffered with addiction from the age of 13 or 14 after being abused as a child and later was the victim of an abusive partner.
“I was suffering with my mental health, my addiction…” she said before breaking down, sobbing: “I’m sorry, I’m going to cry.”
“Don’t worry, we will all cry with you,” the Queen Consort replied.
Camilla praised the charity’s efforts, describing it as “wonderful”, and told the women gathered around the table: “You hear the same story time and time again. That people are too ashamed to talk about it.
“You hear time and time again that people don’t want to betray their abuser, their parent, the father of their children. It’s very difficult, but the more of you who speak up against it, then the better it is for others suffering.”