Ipswich: Inspirational six-year-old princess gets to meet Royal Kate

IPSWICH: Beaming with excitement, brave Tilly Jennings is today perfecting her curtsy.

For the inspiring six-year-old has a date with royalty as she gathers with other youngsters to meet the Duchess of Cambridge when she officially opens the East Anglia’s Children’s Hospice in Ipswich on Monday.

Tilly, who was nominated in the Courageous Young Person of the year category at last year’s Stars of Suffolk Awards, was diagnosed with a congenital heart condition at just 12 hours old.

The “medical miracle” was not expected to live past a year but with her “sheer determination” Tilly has surprised doctors and is today preparing for her wish to come true.

Speaking from the family home in Felixstowe, mum Jeanette Jennings, said her daughter is “obsessed with all things princess”.

“Everybody is so excited,” the mum-of-three said. “We are nervous though, especially trying to pick what to wear.

“At the Stars of Suffolk awards Tilly was given a range of princess fancy dress clothes. She is desperate to wear them to meet the Duchess.

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“For Tilly this is a dream come true. Her life wish is to meet a member of the royal family.

“She has been practising her curtsy because she is due to give the Duchess a posy.”

Mrs Jennings said the support Tilly and her family have received from EACH has been invaluable.

“Tilly’s so well cared for at the hospice. It means we can relax, have a well-deserved rest and spend quality time with Brooke and Marnie [Tilly’s siblings] which we aren’t always able to do.”

Tilly faces further risky surgery this year but Mrs Jennings said her daughter will approach it with the same “determination” which has seen her defy the odds.

“This has really given her something to look forward to. It will be a day to remember,” added Mrs Jennings. “No matter how ill she feels, she’s always got a smile on her face. She is such a friendly, cheerful little girl with a very positive outlook.”

n Tell us why you are looking forward to the Duchess’s visit. Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail starletters@archant.co.uk