Duchess of Cambridge promises to plant sunflower in memory of Huntingdon boy cared for by hospice

Credit: PA

The Duchess of Cambridge has pledged to plant a sunflower in memory of a Cambridgeshire boy whose brother raised thousands of pounds for the hospice that cared for him.

Kate spoke to 13-year-old Stuie Delf, who ran a sponsored 5K every day lastmonth to remember his nine-year-old brother Fraser, who died in January.

She was joined by the Duchess of Cornwall in the video call to mark Children's Hospice Week, as the royal pair carried out their first-ever joint engagement.

"I hear you've been doing lots of fundraising, which has been amazing," Katetold the teenager. Stuie told the duchesses he was inspired by 100-year-old NHS fundraiser Captain Sir Tom Moore.

Camilla added: "Oh Captain Tom. Captain Tom has done a lot for this country, hasn't he? He's inspired so many people. You must be very fit, Stuie."

The Delf family say they were honoured to get the call from Kate Credit: PA

The two duchesses spoke to the youngster, his parents Stuart and Carla Delf from Huntingdon, and representatives from Children's HospiceSouth West and Helen & Douglas House, both of which have Camilla as patron, and East Anglia Children's Hospices (Each), of which Kate is patron.

Camilla said in the call last week: "We'd like to thank everybody that worksfor hospices across the UK for the incredible job you do and allowing families to treasure their moments together."

They heard how the Each hospice in Milton, near Cambridge, where Fraser spent his final weeks, saw a dramatic drop in fundraising because of the Covid-19 crisis.

13 year old Stuie Delf ran 5k every day for a month to raise money for Each Credit: ITV Anglia

Stuie, who was cheered on by his neighbours, set out to raise £500 to fill thegap and to thank staff for helping create the cherished memories he spent at the hospice with Fraser.

"Fraser wasn't just my brother, he was my best friend," he said. He has raised close to £16,000, and with gift aid his total is £18,500.

Kate became patron of Each in 2012 Credit: PA

The Delfs spent seven weeks living in the hospice with Fraser before he died as a result of Coats plus syndrome, a rare condition that affects multiple organs and causes brain abnormalities.Kate, 38, asked how the care had been and appeared moved by the family'sstory. Mr Delf, 42, said afterwards: "She said she was going to plant a sunflower in memory of Fraser. "I'm not sure which Each it's going to be but at one of the hospices."

The sunflower has been adopted as the emblem of hospice care, a symbol of joy with the seeds representing patients and the surrounding petals as love, care, and compassion. Kate, who became patron of Each in 2012, praised the "extraordinary" work of children's hospices."Children's hospices go that extra mile actually and support families likeyourselves, I think it's extraordinary," she said.