Rebekah, 11, takes Kate shopping in children's hospices store visit


An 11-year-old girl stole the show as she took the Duchess of Cambridge on an impromptu tour of a new charity shop.

Kate was visiting the new East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH) store in Holt, Norfolk, on Friday.

She met Rebekah Hughes, who has the rare Dravet Syndrome, a severe form of epilepsy, inside the shop.

After asking what her favourite item was, Kate was led by the hand by Rebekah to a display of handbags and jewellery.

Rebekah explained that her favourite item was a silver Gant handbag, to which Kate replied: "We better put a reserved sticker on that."

The girl then asked Kate which her favourite was and Kate chose a £1 penguin brooch.

She added: "There are so many wonderful things."

Kate then helped Rebekah put a bracelet on her watching mother, Annabel Hughes, 44, from Aylsham, Norfolk.

Mrs Hughes said: "I'll have to buy her the handbag now or I won't hear the end of it.

"I think Kate got off lightly - Rebekah has a way of taking over and she's lucky she didn't have her trying on outfits in the changing room.

"She was brilliant with Rebekah and it was a really special moment."

Afterwards Kate selected a book, Fireman Sam's Favourite Tales, as a present for Prince George and a Beatrix Potter Tom Kitten figurine for Princess Charlotte.

She explained Fireman Sam was George's favourite character as she handed over £10 in cash for the gifts.

Sarah Throssell, who served her, said: "She seemed really pleased with the finds."

During the visit, Kate, who is royal patron of EACH, helped volunteers sort clothes in a back room.

She revealed her frustration with security tags as she helped attach one to a garment, saying: "I always wondered how you get them on because they're a nightmare to get off."

Chatting to Linda Gidley, who has been a volunteer in the charity's Long Stratton store for 15 years, the Duchess said she liked to buy cook books in charity shops.

"They're the ones I always look out for," she said.

Kate also met Chloe Baird, a 15-year-old who has been receiving support from EACH at its Norfolk hospice since 2009.

EACH supports families and cares for children and young people with life-threatening conditions across Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk.

Its services include specialist nursing care and therapy and counselling.

The charity, which has three hospices in Cambridge, Norfolk and Ipswich, offers support to more than 700 children, young people and family members.

The new shop, which is a little over 20 miles (32km) from Kate's home at Anmer Hall, will form part of EACH's network of 21 charity retail outlets.