Queen Camilla kicks off the festive season at Clarence house

Camilla proves she’s the Queen of good cheer as she serves up bangers and mash (with a broccoli crown!) and pets reindeers alonside Santa at Clarence House party for seriously ill children

  • Camilla welcomed children to Clarence House for a fun-filled festive day
  • READ MORE: Queen Camilla pays tribute to her mother-in-law Elizabeth II by wearing late monarch’s ‘favourite tiara’ for glittering Buckingham Palace Christmas Diplomatic Reception

You’d expect gourmet dishes on silver platters at a typical royal banquet, but today Queen Camilla hosted a rather more down-to-earth party where she served up plates of bangers and mash and jars of sweets to her guests. 

The royal has kicked off the festive season at Clarence House in fun style alongside  Father Christmas during a reception for seriously ill children.

The royal, 76, invites children supported by two of her charities, Helen & Douglas House and Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity, for the very special event at the official residence every year.

The little ones get treated like royalty for the day and help to decorate the tree.

For an extra special treat, they got a visit not only from royalty but from Father Christmas, who shook Camilla’s hand and bowed down, greeting her as ‘Your Majesty’.

Queen Camilla invited children, supported by Helen & Douglas House and Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity to a party at Clarence House where they got to pet some of Santa’s reindeer

The Queen proved she’s a good sport by serving sausage and mash with a broccoli crown – that looked rather like her own 

Queen Camilla greeted Father Christmas at Clarence House earlier today. The queen said ‘Father Christmas I Spy’ before meeting children

The queen was equally warm, saying ‘Father Christmas, I spy’ before meeting children. 

Clarence House looked splendidly festive, with an extravagant Christmas tree decorated with delicate ornaments.

Equerry Major Ollie Plunket embellished the tree further and placed a decoration using his sword – a Christmas tradition that occurs each year at Clarence House.

Among the thrilled young guests was a girl called Dotty, who gave Camilla a handmade Christmas card.

In the Clarence House dining room, Dotty and other children tucked into a lunch of bangers, mash and other sweet treats.

Two reindeer, Dancer and Blitzen, were outside waiting for the children in the royal garden after they had finished.

Camilla was a natural with the reindeer and kept them very happy as she fed them out of her hand.

It comes amid a busy time for the royals, and yesterday evening, the King led his family in a show of unity tonight after a tumultuous week of royal revelations.

Accompanied by Queen Camilla and The Prince and Princess of Wales, Charles, 75, welcomed more than 500 dignitaries to Buckingham Palace for the glittering annual Diplomatic Reception.

The wife of King Charles III greeted Father Christmas with a firm handshake before chatting with other guests 

The four most senior British Royal Family members posed together for a photograph before the ‘white tie and tiaras’ event.

Her Majesty looked regal in a cream embroidered evening gown by Fiona Clare and the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara. Kate appeared equally elegant in a shimmering Jenny Packham gown and her favourite Lover’s Knot Tiara. 

The Reception celebrates the presence in London of one of the largest Diplomatic Corps in the world and saw Their Majesties meet representatives of countries accredited to the Court of St. James. 

Tonight’s royal show of unity will be seen as a sign of solitary following the furore of Omid Scobie’s new book after it emerged that a Dutch version contained the names of two family members accused by the Duchess of Sussex of ‘unconscious bias’.

The book about the monarchy claimed Prince Harry’s wife Meghan, 42, had named the King himself as well as his daughter-in-law, Kate, 41, in letters she wrote to him on the issue.

An equerry used the tip of his sword to lift decorations and help the children to dress the Christmas tree with the help of a young guest 

Equerry Major Ollie Pinkett appeared very pleased as he managed to place the decoration on the tree using the tip of his sword 

Buckingham Palace has not commented publicly, but aides have made clear that the King and his senior advisors are ‘considering all options’ open to them over the unsubstantiated claims, including the possibility of legal action.

They have, however, been comforted by the sympathetic public reaction they have received to ‘revelations’ in the poorly-reviewed book and may decide to let that speak for itself.

For tonight’s event, Kate wore a show-stopping Jenny Packham gold ‘Georgia’ gown costing approximately £5,000, which was embellished with sequins. 

She has previously worn the design to the wedding reception of Crown Prince Hussein of Jordan and Princess Rajwa in June 2023. 

The Princess sported her favourite Cambridge Lover’s Knot Tiara, which was a wedding gift to Princess Diana. She also sported the Royal Family Order and topped her outfit off with Her Late Majesty’s stunning Greville diamond chandelier earrings. 

Camilla looked thrilled to receive a bright yellow Christmas card handmade by a young girl called Dotty 

Dotty appeared particularly pleased after Camilla thanked her for her festive handmade creation 

Camilla, 76, meanwhile, put on a dazzling display in a cream embroidered evening gown by Fiona Clare. 

To further add to the glamour, Her Majesty donned the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara, as well as the Garter Sash and Star in family order across the gown.

Camilla added a touch of sentiment with The Queen Mother’s diamond brooch and the late Queen’s diamond bracelet.

Tonight’s event saw the King, his heir and their wives greet the great and good of the Diplomatic Corps – Ambassadors, High Commissioners and the like officially registered to the Court of St James’ – for pre-Christmas drinks in the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace. 

As Head of State, The King plays a vital role in UK diplomacy, supporting the work of the Foreign Office at home and abroad.

The event will also have been the first time the King has been able to talk personally to his son and daughter-in-law since the latest row around the Duke and Duchess of Sussex broke.

Sources have told the Mail that the family will be in ‘no rush’ to make their ‘carefully considered’ decision about how to progress.

Earlier in the day they were also out and about in force on a series of engagements. William surprised shoppers when he was spotted selling copies of the The Big Issue at a Tesco in Hammersmith, west London.

The prince was reunited with magazine seller Dave, whom he has met on several previous occasions, even exchanging Christmas cards.

Vendor Dave Martin told Mail Online: ‘William came down in the morning and helped me sell some magazines. He is a very nice man. 

‘Helping me sell the magazines was a kind gesture. It’s very good that he’s helping the homeless. You can tell he does it because he cares.’

Meanwhile his wife met a little girl whose space-themed designs for a new children’s day surgery unit were inspired by her late father, who she says has now ‘gone to the stars’.

The princess chatted to Ella Moth, nine, who won a competition to design the artwork for the new unit at the Evelina Children’s Hospital in London.

She took her inspiration from the tragic death of her father, Piers, who died of brain cancer in 2021.

The Princess, who is patron of Evelina London, asked Ella: ‘How does it feel to have your design on the wall for other children to enjoy, being an inspiration for loads of other kids? Ella replied: ‘I didn’t think it would ever happen!’

The new facility, which cost £55million to build, allows children to be treated in one location on the same day, reducing the stress caused by numerous hospital visits.

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