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Kate sends 'beautiful keepsake' to young cancer survivor who calls Duchess 'best friend'

Prince William’s wife put pen to paper and wrote a personal note to Mila Sneddon, who recently ended her leukaemia treatment. Kate first heard Mila’s story in 2020, when the tot’s mother Lynda submitted a touching photograph to the Hold Still photography contest launched by the Duchess of Cambridge in collaboration with the National Portrait Gallery.

The content of the letter hasn’t been disclosed, but Mrs Sneddon described it as a “beautiful keepsake” for her daughter.

Sharing news of the letter on Twitter, the mother-of-two said: “Very grateful to receive a beautiful handwritten letter from @KensingtonRoyal.

“Such a beautiful keepsake for Mila to look back on for many years to come (content of which will not be disclosed) such a lovely gesture thank you Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.”

The tweet also included a photograph of the six-year-old holding the letter with a huge smile on her face. 

Sharing the post, ITV royal editor Chris Ship added: “A personal note from Kate to Mila Sneddon who has recently reached the end of her leukaemia treatment.

“Mila says the Duchess of Cambridge is her ‘best friend’ after they met during her cancer battle. We are all thrilled for Mila”.

The story of Mila and her family gained national prominence after Mrs Sneddon entered the Hold Still contest with a picture of her daughter blowing a kiss to her father as he stood outside of their home.

Mrs Sneddon later explained Mila was undergoing chemotherapy and, in the run-up to the first national lockdown, the family had taken the difficult decision to split up to keep the vulnerable child shielded. 

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This led Mila to live apart from her father and elder sister for several weeks.

The photograph was chosen as one of the 100 finalists and was included in the Hold Still photographic book released in May last year.

The contest had the goal to portray life in Britain during the first national lockdown and saw thousands of people recounting their experiences and how they were coping during the pandemic through images.

Kate and Mila’s first meeting took place over the phone, as the child and her mother were among the finalists the Duchess contacted to hear more about their story. 


During the call, Kate heard the hard choices made by the Sneddons to protect their younger child and got a taste of Mila’s bubbly personality.

In an extract of the call shared on YouTube by the Cambridges, Kate was taken aback as she was asked by the adorable child whether she has “a costume”.

The Duchess replied: “I’m not wearing a princess costume right now, I’m afraid Mila.

“Do you have lots of dressing-up outfits yourself?” 

The child said yes, adding her favourite colour is pink.

Kate then said: “Okay, well I have to make sure I go and try and find myself a pink dress so that hopefully, when one day hopefully, Mila we’ll get to meet and then I’ll remember to wear my pink dress for you. Would that be nice?”

Their first face-to-face meeting took place in Scotland in May last year, while the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were touring the nation.

Most notably, Kate kept her promise and donned a pink dress for her encounter with the child. 

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge met once again the Sneddons in December, as the family was invited to the Christmas Carol service hosted at Westminster Abbey by Kate.

Mila started her fight against acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in November 2019.

A few weeks ago, she rang the bell at Team Jack Cancer Centre to signal she no longer needed treatment. 



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