YOUNG people being cared for at an Oxford hospice gave a royal welcome to the Duchess of Cornwall when she visited the charity.

The Duchess visited Helen & Douglas House, in Leopold Street, East Oxford, for the second time yesterday after becoming its patron in 2007.

She spent more than an hour chatting with children and young adults who use the pioneering hospice.

Ingrid Warren, 31, from Garsington, met the Duchess for the third time – and the tables were turned when the Royal visitor told her she had seen her on TV in a recent documentary about the hospice.

Miss Warren, who was also marking the second anniversary of a successful kidney transplant, said: “It wasn’t what I expected.”

She added: “The Duchess is a really nice person and seems very down to earth and very friendly.”

The Duchess had asked to re-visit the charity to find out more about it. She first visited in June 2007, and has twice invited hospice users to decorate her Christmas tree, at Clarence House, in London.

Eleven-year-old Dylan McDermott, who has Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy and lives in Stonesfield, was full of praise for the Duchess.

He said: “I thought she was very kind. She came down to the right height so I could speak to her more easily. I really enjoyed it. I didn’t think I would get a chance to speak to her myself.”

Charlotte Walter, 14, from Northampton, presented a flower to the Duchess and introduced her to her assistance dog, Roo.

The teenager, who has spinal muscular atrophy and has been coming to Helen House for respite care for 10 years, said: “I thought she would be really posh, but she was just like an ordinary person – and really nice.

“Her visit meant a lot, because we don’t get to get out very much and rarely meet people like the Duchess.”

Charlotte’s mother, Sue, added: “She’s a lovely lady. Her support is very valuable because it highlights the work that Helen and Douglas House does.”

June Craig, from Grove, near Wantage, whose 23-year-old singer-songwriter son Ally Craig uses Douglas House, met the Duchess for the second time – and discovered they had a shared interest in Fred Astaire films.

She said: “She’s very easy to talk to and interested in what you have to say.

“It’s a good thing that she’s our patron. Any support that we can have is great, and when it’s as high profile as the Duchess of Cornwall, it’s got to be good.”

As she left, the Duchess invited the charity to help decorate her Christmas tree again this year.

Hospice founder Sister Frances Dominica said: “It was a lovely visit and Her Royal Highness gave great joy to all the people here.

“I think it’s very exciting for young people to meet a member of the Royal Family.”