Duchess of Cornwall in Hampshire to open children’s cancer unit

The Duchess of Cornwall
The Duchess of Cornwall

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The Duchess of Cornwall is to meet the families of soldiers currently deployed in Iraq before opening a hospital’s children’s cancer unit in Hampshire today.

Camilla will visit Normandy Barracks in Aldershot, where she will place a posy on the 4 Rifles Memorial Wall which includes the names of those killed in action in Iraq and Afghanistan.

She will then walk past two buglers before attending a reception with families, soldiers, battalion veterans and injured servicemen and present a small number of awards to serving Riflemen before signing a visitors’ book.

The 4th Battalion the Rifles (4 Rifles), commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Carl Boswell, currently has 250 Riflemen based at Al Asad Air Base, 100 miles west of Baghdad, providing training support to the Iraqi army.

Camilla will then go on to visit Southampton Children’s Hospital where she will open the cancer unit Piam Brown which has undergone a £1.7 million seven-month refurbishment.

She will meet patients, fundraisers, nurses and families before touring the unit and taking in the consulting rooms, clinic, day ward and teenage games room.

Camilla will then attend a reception with staff and patients where she will unveil a plaque to commemorate the opening.

A hospital spokesman said: “The unit, which sees more than 120 new patients a year from across the south of England, was originally opened in 1988.

“Since then it has become a national and European centre of excellence for neuroblastoma and the development of immunotherapy treatments, with Dr Juliet Gray, a consultant in paediatric oncology, the UK’s representative on the European Neuroblastoma Research Group.

“The additional beds provided by the refurbishment offer the potential for the unit to take part in more clinical studies and the opportunity for children from outside the region to come to the hospital for novel immunotherapy trials which are not available in other centres.”