Touching moment Princess of Wales praises girl who has lost her father
5th December 2023

Moment Kate Middleton praises girl, 9, who designed cosmic artwork for new children’s hospital unit after being inspired by her father who has ‘gone to the stars’ following brain cancer battle

  • Ella Moth told the Princess of Wales that her father Piers has ‘gone to the stars’ 
  • Read More: How Kate Middleton has proven Omid Scobie’s cruel Stepford Wife jibes are far from the truth 

The Princess of Wales looked visibly touched as she spoke to a little girl whose father had ‘gone to the stars’ today.

The royal, 41, met nine-year-old Ella Moth during her visit to Evelina Children’s Hospital in Westminster today. 

Her father Piers – who worked as a music teacher – was treated at Guy’s Hospital for a brain tumour before his death in 2021. 

Ella told the Princess of Wales how her space-themed drawings were inspired by the death of her father, who has ‘gone to the stars’. 

The Princess, who has been patron of the children’s hospital Evelina London since 2018, asked Ella: ‘How does it feel to have your design on the wall for other children to enjoy, being an inspiration for loads of other kids?’

The Princess of Wales (pictured speaking with Ella Moth, centre) asked: ‘How does it feel to have your design on the wall for other children to enjoy, being an inspiration for loads of other kids?’

Ella replied: ‘I didn’t think it would ever happen!’

The devoted father-of-three, who lived in West Dulwich, had met his wife Laura just three weeks before his life-altering cancer diagnosis in 2011.

Thanks to invasive treatment, Piers beat his cancer and the couple went on to have their children Oscar, 10, Ella, nine, and Ottillie, four.

In his early career, Piers found work as a musician and composer – but his treatment hindered his ability to play the guitar or recorder.

Speaking to MyLondon in 2021, family friend Adele Grover explained how Piers was told the treatment could cause him to lose ’30 per cent of his intelligence’.

She said: ‘He always felt that it had impaired him, that he wasn’t the same. He would get quite overwhelmed.

‘But despite that, music was his passion.’ 

Tragically, a routine check-up in 2020 revealed that Piers’ brain tumour had returned. 

Piers (top right) initially beat cancer in 2011 and he went on to have their children Oscar (bottom right), 10, Ella (bottom left), nine, and Ottillie (top centre), four, with his wife Laura (top left)

At the time, Laura – who is a respiratory physiotherapist – was working tirelessly on NHS wards to help patients struggling with their breathing during the pandemic.

At first, Piers looked into any changes he could make to his lifestyle – including his diet – to tried and combat his cancer.

However, doctors found that the tumour was now growing inside his brain – meaning surgery was out of the question. 

In 2021, Piers passed away in hospice care. His daughter Ella appears to have inherited his creative streak and won a competition to design the artwork for the new unit at the Evelina Children’s Hospital.

Kate was joined by Ella Moth (left) to cut the ribbon outside the hospital today. The nine-year-old lost her father to brain cancer in 2021

The Princess then met Chloe Morley, 10, who was the unit’s first patient when she had her tonsils removed on July 12.

The new facility, which cost £55million to build, allows children to be treated in one location on the same day, reducing the stress caused by numerous hospital visits.

It will help the hospital treat a further 2,300 children per year, on top of the 104,000 children and young people treated by Evelina London, the children’s wing of Guy’s and St Thomas’s hospital.

The unit has two new operating theatres for simple operations such as tonsil removal and bladder surgery.

The Princess walked the same route as the children visiting the centre, including rooms offering pre-surgery checks, operation theatres and recovering areas.

The family, who live in West Dulwich, suffered the loss of Piers in 2021 after doctor’s found the tumour inside his brain 

In the recovery area she met four-and-a-half-year-old Saya Stephenson, who was resting in bed after an operation that morning to remove excess skin for her ears.

The Princess hugged her mother, Miwa Stephenson, who said she had been anxious about the surgery despite it being a relatively minor procedure.

Kate replied: ‘It’s always a worry though for a parent. We have to keep our cool. It’s so hard.’

The Princess posed for selfies with nurses at the unit before completing the visit with a traditional ribbon-cutting.

Evelina’s Chief executive Gubby Ayida said afterwards: ‘With everything happening with the NHS at the moment, including long backlogs, the Princess’s visit has brought a feel-good factor to every room she visited and to all the staff.

‘It’s really special, the staff work so hard. The visit has lifted the whole place. It’s more than just ribbon-cutting. It’s been a privilege to welcome her here.’

On departure she was presented with flowers by Burac Abrahams, 11, who was the new unit’s second patient when he had his tonsils removed in July.

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