Peter and Thomas Ellis enjoying the festivities with HRH The Countess of Wessex
Young patients and their families lined up along the Royal Berkshire Hospital's Children's clinic to welcome a very special visitor on Friday afternoon (18 December).
Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex joined in with the festive fun at the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust's children's Christmas party.
Over 150 guests, mostly children who had been treated at the hospital, together with their families and carers, were invited to the party where they were entertained by Roly’s Magic Show, and joined by the Matron for Paediatrics and Neonates, Susan Timperley, as well as children's nurses and play leaders.
The Countess was met at the Craven Road Children's Clinic by Mr James Puxley, the Lord Lieutenant for the Royal County of Berkshire. Mr Puxley introduced Her Royal Highness to the Mayor of Reading, Cllr Mrs Sarah Hacker. All were welcomed to the hospital by Mr Graham Sims, the Trust's Chairman, and Jean O'Callaghan, Chief Executive. The Countess was invited to sign the Trust's visitors' book, previously signed by Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness Prince Philip when they visited the Trust back in February 2006.
Graham Sims said: "It's a real honour to welcome Her Royal Highness to the Trust. We are delighted she could join us for our children's party. "
Chief Executive, Jean O'Callaghan, added: "I know The Countess' attendance is so exciting for our young patients and their families but also our staff who are thrilled she can be here."
As she left the party, The Countess was presented with a posy by 5-year-old Peter Ellis and 9-year-old Ilana Mocanu. Both have been treated at the hospital.
More photos of the visit are available here