TERMINALLY-ill children from Oxfordshire helped decorate Prince Charles and his wife's Christmas tree.

The youngsters helped hang baubles on the branches at Clarence House alongside the Duchess of Cornwall herself, Camilla.

Mia Fryett, 10, from Wallingford, Meriel Park, 11, from near Chipping Norton, Joshua Dalton, 17, from Bampton, Thomas Clack, 11, from Bicester and Oliver Johnson, seven, from Didcot, are all cared for at Helen & Douglas House children's hospice in Oxford, where the Duchess is a patron.

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During their visit on Thursday the children also met the Duchess’ equerry, Captain Charlie Ross from the Welsh Guards, who let them try on his bearskin hat and placed an ornament on the tree with his sword, to cheers of delight.

The Duchess also personally served the children with a steaming plate of sausages and mash.

Eleven-year-old Meriel, who has a rare condition called Nemaline Myopathy, gave the Duchess a chuckle as her parents are called Charles and Camilla.

Oxford Mail:

Meriel’s mum said: "We had such a wonderful day and I can’t tell you how much Meriel loved it.

"We have been talking about reindeers, the Duchess, Charlie the soldier, the gingerbread biscuits, all the policeman, the red carpet and so many other little things all afternoon.

"There were so many things to take in, I think she will be reliving different bits of it all over Christmas.

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"It really was such a wonderful start to the Christmas holidays for her.

"It was also such an enormous treat for my husband and myself.

"For a few hours I was far from reality and loving every minute of it all."

Oxford Mail:

Thomas Clack’s mum Rachel said: "We had the best day ever.

"Tom loved asking loads of questions to Camilla's house manager and the other staff about the family history and the history of the house.

"He’s also ticked an item off the bucket list in his words becoming famous by being on the news, seeing himself on YouTube and being in the paper as his ambition is to be a famous YouTuber.We will never forget this day."

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The Duchess of Cornwall has been patron of Helen & Douglas House since 2007and this is the 10th time that families supported by the hospice have been invited to Clarence House at Christmas.

As well as lunch, this year the children also got to tuck into a spread of chocolate Santas, candy canes, chocolate coins and fruit.

After lunch The Duchess said: "I want to thank all of you – the parents, the nurses, the carers - and most of all these wonderful children.

"I know sometimes it’s not easy, but to see you all today here looking so happy it’s a real treat for me and I look forward to it every year."