Duchess of Cambridge's sunflower promise in memory of boy

The Duchess of Cornwall, the Duchess of Cambridge, and the Delf family (clockwise) Image copyright Clarence House
Image caption The duchesses were impressed by Stuie Delf's fundraising prowess

The Duchess of Cambridge has pledged to plant a sunflower in memory of a boy who was cared for by a hospice.

Catherine spoke to Stuart and Carla Delf, from Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire, about their nine-year-old son Fraser, who died in January.

She congratulated Fraser's 13-year-old brother Stuie, who ran a sponsored 5k every day last month to raise money for the Each hospice in Milton, Cambridge.

The duchess said the fundraising was "amazing".

She was joined by the Duchess of Cornwall in the video call last week to mark Children's Hospice Week.

Image copyright Carla Delf
Image caption Stuie Delf said his brother was his best friend
Image copyright Carla Delf
Image caption Fraser Delf was cared for by Each in Milton

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.

Stuie told the duchesses he had been inspired by 100-year-old NHS fundraiser Captain Sir Tom Moore.

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

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The Duchess of Cambridge is patron of the East Anglia Children's Hospices
Image copyright Carla Delf
Image caption Fraser Delf died as a result of Coats plus syndrome

The duchesses heard that the hospice where Fraser spent his final weeks had experienced a dramatic drop in fundraising because of coronavirus.

Stuie set out to raise £500 to fill the gap but ended up with £18,500 in total.

"Fraser wasn't just my brother, he was my best friend," he said.

After the video call, Mr Delf, 42, said: "[Catherine] said she was going to plant a sunflower in memory of Fraser."

The sunflower has been adopted as the emblem of hospice care.

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