Lily Slater's date with Prince Harry
FOUR-year-old Lily Slater is back at home following her date with a Prince. Lily may not have a glass slipper as a memento, but she does have a host of photos from the time she met Prince Harry.
She was nominated by her mother, Shirley, for a WellChild Children’s Health Award and won the Best Brave Child category.
The Prince is patron of the children’s charity, which supports youngsters with serious illnesses.
It provides specialist nurses, a helpline for children, parents and carers and funds research into child health.
And at a glittering ceremony at Lord’s Cricket Ground, London, on Monday she met not only Prince Harry, but a host of stars from the world of sport and showbiz.
Lily, from Toppings Street, Boldon Colliery, South Tyneside, was diagnosed with medulloblastoma – a malignant brain tumour – last summer and has just completed a course of chemotherapy at Newcastle General Hospital.
She was accompanied to the ceremony by her parents Glynn and Shirley and twin sister Willow. But she was less than star-struck in the presence of Prince Harry. Mrs Slater said: “She wouldn’t smile at him at first, and refused to sit on his knee.
“But he was very nice with her, perfectly natural and charming, and he eventually won her round and she began chatting to him.”
Mrs Slater, a home-based travel representative, said her daughter’s positive outlook had helped both herself and her husband, a Nissan car worker, to come to terms with her illness.
The 39-year-old, who also has a 14-month-old baby daughter called Poppy, said: “Lily is so brave, so accepting, so cheerful. That is why I nominated her for the WellChild award.
“She even helps other children come who are having chemotherapy.
“She got into bed with one little boy to keep him company because he was so upset. She thinks of other people all the time.
“Although she is a twin, she is nothing like Willow, who is a bit of a tomboy and very quiet. Lily is usually a chatterbox – apart from when she met Prince Harry – and quite girly.”
Lily, a pupil at Hedworth Lane Primary School, Boldon Colliery, was picked from a record number of nominations to win the Best Brave Child category by a panel of judges, including MPs and health professionals.
A string of celebrities also presented awards, including comedian and actor Alexander Armstrong, Dragon’s Den star Duncan Bannatyne, GMTV presenter Kate Garraway, Strictly Come Dancing’s Iain Waite, judo star Craig Fallon and BBC Newsnight host Emily Maitlis.
The audience enjoyed refreshments as they watched videos telling the stories of the brave children and their families, who came from all over the United Kingdom. Caring children and medical and education staff were also honoured with awards.