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Princess Beatrice, 31, and Princess Eugenie, 30, reunited virtually last week for a cause close to both their hearts. While the sisters have been spending lockdown apart they came together in their roles as honorary patrons of the Teenage Cancer Trust.
Beatrice and Eugenie presented this year’s Teenage Cancer Trust Award ceremony via Zoom where they were joined by the winners and the charities Chief Executive.
The royals were both moved by the stories they heard from a frontline cancer nurse, fundraisers and young people living with cancer on the call.
They announced the awards for all seven winners and thanked them for their exceptional work.
Following the call, Beatrice shared her emotional reaction with the charity.
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Princess Beatrice said: “I came away with such a feeling of hope and inspiration and also the amazing work that the team at Teenage Cancer Trust has delivered for them It was a remarkable conversation and the bravery all witnessed on that call is incredibly touching.”
During the Zoom call, Eugenie revealed how her and Beatrice’s connection to the Teenage Cancer Trust stems from their mother Sarah Ferguson.
Eugenie said: “Beatrice and I have grown up with Teenage Cancer Trust.”
“We have been inspired by our mother, who is an Honorary Patron of this incredible charity, and support it in what is its – and my – 30th year.
“We’ve shared many experiences along the way and people like these worthy award winners truly inspire us.”
She added: “It has been a real honour for Beatrice and I to present these awards to such dedicated, kind and inspiring individuals.
“Hearing what it has been like working on the frontline, the personal stories that drive fundraising and how inspirational young people have campaigned in the face of adversity – and all during a global pandemic – will stay with us forever.”
Princess Eugenie and her husband Jack Brooksbank spent lockdown at the Royal Lodge with Eugenie’s parents Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew.
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Eugenie and Jack had their own traumatic coronavirus experience as Jack’s father was treated for the illness for several weeks in intensive care.
Eugenie’s father-in-law George Brooksbank, 71, has since recovered and thanked the NHS for saving his life.
Following his recovery, Mr Brooksbank told the Telegraph: “The point I really want to get across is that I think the NHS is absolutely magnificent.
“The way I was treated was incredible.
“Nothing was too much trouble and at no point did I get a sense of a shortage of doctors or nurses or any impression that the service was in any way overwhelmed. I certainly owe them my life.”
Among this year’s Teenage Cancer Trust winners was frontline nurse Nicky Pettitt who spoke to Eugenie about her experience working during the pandemic.
During the Zoom call, Nicky said: “I think as a cancer nurse you are used to having difficult and complex conversations, so the skillset is there and that becomes very transferable.
“It was a very humbling experience really. We didn’t realise the impact we would have both for the patient’s family at home and for being that lifeline.
“I think everyone needs a medal in the NHS. Working in hospital with sick people is one thing and I think we manage that well, but then you can go home and that can be a safe space.
“But coronavirus has invaded every corner of everybody’s life and so there is a balance that is quite hard to achieve. I am so proud of the west midlands team that has managed to do that and keep the young people at the heart of everything.”
Chief Executive of Teenage Cancer Trust Kate Collins said: “These awards have been created to recognise the fantastic contributions and achievements of people right across the Teenage Cancer Trust community, and in particular, we wanted to shine a spotlight on the contributions of those who stepped up during the Coronavirus crisis.
“We are nothing without the support of everyone who makes our work possible. Whether that be our staff working within the NHS to support young people, our fundraisers, our patrons and our corporate partners.
“All the amazing nominees and winners are part of the glue that keep the charity together and because of them, we are able to support thousands of young people with cancer right across the UK.”
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