Queen Camilla hosts special garden party

Picture by Andrew Parsons / Buckingham Palace

Queen Camilla has hosted a special garden party.

The garden party was held for Tony Hudgell and Lyla O’Donovan and their families.  Upon arrival at Buckingham Palace, the children watched the Changing of the Guard from inside the forecourt. They then went inside for a private tea party in the Summer House in Buckingham Palace’s garden.

Queen Camilla then presented Tony Hudgell with his British Empire Medal. He is the youngest-ever recipient of a New Year Honour. He was awarded the medal for ervices to the prevention of child abuse. Afterwards, the children were taken to the Royal Mews for a private tour.

Lyla O’Donovan said, “Everyone made us feel so comfortable and made me feel super special so thank you for this. A massive thank you to everyone involved yesterday we are so grateful and feel so lucky to have been invited.”

Paul O’Donovan, Lyla’s father, said, “Last week was an amazing moment for us as a family. Lyla’s health hasn’t been good over the past few weeks, and she’s been having so many more seizures and up to eight a week in school, so we always cherish everything we do. For us to come and have an experience like this was incredible and Lyla loved every second of our trip. Lyla was gutted about missing the original garden party but she said she’s glad she missed it now as she’s got to meet The Queen and there’s no one else more important than her, apart from The King of course.”

Paula Hudgell, Tony’s mother, said, “We were all extremely honoured to have been invited to Buckingham Palace for afternoon tea with The Queen – An experience we would never have dreamed of. Everyone was so kind and thoughtful and made us feel comfortable and relaxed. Tony chatted to The Queen as if they were old friends and she was lovely with him and an exceptionally very proud moment when the Queen gave Tony his BEM. We would like to thank everyone who made this one of the most memorable days we will ever have.”

Both Tony and Lyla were originally meant to attend a Garden Party in May but had been unable to attend; Tony due to traffic and Lyla due to ill-health. Tony has raised almost £2 million for the Evelina Children’s Hospital, while Lyla has raised funds for seriously ill children while living with a rare brain tumour herself.

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