Queen Camilla Hosts Special Afternoon Tea for Boy Who Missed Palace Garden Party Due to Traffic

Tony Hudgell, 9, and his family enjoyed an outing with the royal at Buckingham Palace earlier this week

<p>Andrew Parsons / Buckingham Palace</p> Tony Hudgell and Queen Camilla on June 26, 2024

Andrew Parsons / Buckingham Palace

Tony Hudgell and Queen Camilla on June 26, 2024

Queen Camilla enjoyed a spot of tea with a young boy this week, after he previously missed a recent engagement with the royal.

Last month, Tony Hudgell, 9, was unable to attend a formal garden party with his family due to traffic. "Stuck on M20 for last 2 hours," Tony's mother, Paula Hudgell, wrote on X (formerly Twitter) at the time. "Won't be making the King's Garden Party."

In response, an account for the royal family said, “Sorry to hear this, Tony! We were looking forward to seeing you too. Fancy trying again another day? Leave it with us...”

Not long after, on Wednesday, June 26, Tony, who is a double amputee, and his family attended the event hosted by Queen Camilla, 76, where they were also joined by Lyla O’Donovan, 12, and her family.

Both kids and their families watched the Changing of the Guard after arriving at Buckingham Palace, before they joined Camilla in the garden's Summer House. They were later taken to The Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace for a private tour.

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<p>Andrew Parsons / Buckingham Palace</p> Tony Hudgell, Queen Camilla and Lyla O’Donovan on June 26, 2024

Andrew Parsons / Buckingham Palace

Tony Hudgell, Queen Camilla and Lyla O’Donovan on June 26, 2024

Related: Double Amputee, 9, Gets Royal Invite After He Misses Buckingham Palace Garden Party Due to Traffic Jam

During the gathering, Queen Camilla presented Tony with a British Empire Medal (BEM), following his nomination in the 2024 New Year Honours. The child co-founded the Tony Hudgell Foundation.

“We were all extremely honored to have been invited to Buckingham Palace for afternoon tea with The Queen — an experience we would never have dreamed of," Paula said of the exciting moment. "Everyone was so kind and thoughtful and made us feel comfortable and relaxed."

"Tony chatted to The Queen as if they were old friends, and she was lovely with him, and [it was] an exceptionally very proud moment when the Queen gave Tony his BEM," she added. "We would like to thank everyone who made this one of the most memorable days we will ever have.”

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Lyla, for her part, has raised money for sick children while living with a rare brain tumor. She was awarded the Inspirational Service Child of the Year by North Yorkshire Council at their first-ever Service Children’s Awards last month.

"Everyone made us feel so comfortable and made me feel super special, so thank you for this," Lyla said of the moment with Queen Camilla. "A massive thank you to everyone involved yesterday, we are so grateful and feel so lucky to have been invited."

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