26 October 2023

King presented with paper crown as he opens new hospice site

26 October 2023

The King may have been crowned during a historic ceremony, but that did not stop a four-year-old girl presenting him with a paper crown on a visit to Norfolk.

Charles received his gift during a visit to open the new Priscilla Bacon Lodge hospice in Norwich, where patients are given a boost every mid-morning – the offer of a tipple from a drinks trolley.

Little Arielle Bayliss, whose mother Rebecca Turner has stage three melanoma, made the crown for the King and everyone in the room wore colourful crowns made during a crafts session with a hospice volunteer.

She presented the crown on a blanket and after Charles asked: “Is that for me, thank you very much, did you put that together?” the youngster made everyone in the room laugh when she took back the blanket and gave it to her mother.

Ms Turner, 31, who was joined by her partner Jonathan Bayliss and mother Nicki Turner in her private room, told the King about her treatment: “I’ve been on a roller coaster of up and down but I’m very happy here.

“And the staff, I feel like I’m a princess – we have Baileys at 11 o’clock.”

“I know, I saw it on the trolley,” replied Charles, who earlier had met Ernie Pinch, the volunteer manning the drinks trolley which had one bottle that had intrigued the monarch.

He added: “And Stone’s Ginger Wine or something.”

The new hospice complex replaces an old site and opened in September, close to Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, providing a modern palliative care unit, inpatient beds, a day unit and a wellbeing centre.

Charles began his visit by visiting a breathing clinic, where patients are taught to control their breathing to aid their wellbeing.

When the King asked if they came into the hospice regularly, Barry Prior, 78, a terminal cancer patient from Norwich, gestured to his wife Ann sat nearby and joked: “I have to give her her time-off – because she gets fed up with me as you can imagine.”

The King smiled and the other patients laughed when the 78-year-old added: “She very rarely lets me go anywhere on my own. She never has done actually, when I had a head of hair, all the women used to be after me.”

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