Cancer patient, 5, on meeting with Kate Middleton after featuring in Hold Still project


A five-year-old cancer patient who met with the Duchess of Cambridge after featuring in her Hold Still photography project has opened up about the ‘incredible’ visit.

Mila Sneddon, of Falkirk, who was captured kissing her father through a window during lockdown last year in a viral photograph, was welcomed by Kate, 39, for tea at Holyroodhouse yesterday, during her and Prince William’s final day of their week-long visit to Scotland.

Speaking on Lorraine today with her father and mother, Scott and Lynda Sneddon, Mila said: ‘She came in and I did my curtsy and Dad did his bow. 

‘[Kate] had made a promise [to wear pink],’ the youngster added, noting that the duchess kept her word to don a pink outfit when meeting after their initial phone call earlier this month.

‘At the end, there were bagpipes and drums. I liked it the best when I got the tour of the whole castle,’ said Mila.

An image of her taken by her mother Lynda, entitled Shielding Mila, was one of the 100 images included in the Duchess of Cambridge’s book Hold Still: A Portrait of Our Nation in 2020.  

Mila Sneddon (pictured left), of Falkirk, on Lorraine today with her father and mother, Scott and Lynda Sneddon

Mila, who was captured kissing her father through a window during lockdown last year in a viral photograph, was welcomed by Kate, 39, for tea at Holyroodhouse yesterday, during her and Prince William 's final day of their week-long visit to Scotland

Mila, who was captured kissing her father through a window during lockdown last year in a viral photograph, was welcomed by Kate, 39, for tea at Holyroodhouse yesterday, during her and Prince William ‘s final day of their week-long visit to Scotland

Mila was a perfect little princess, wearing a tiny crown and matching pink shoes. The Duchess had previously spoken to on the phone to the youngster, who underwent intensive chemotherapy for leukaemia last year meaning she was forced to shield during the height of the pandemic. 

Kate made good on a promise she made to wear pink, Mila’s favourite colour, sporting a ME+EM’s silk shirt dress which features a dipped midi hemline and pleated detailing, with tan heels and a floral face covering. When they met, Kate told the youngster she wanted to give her a ‘big squeezy cuddle’.

Mother Lynda told Lorraine: ‘It was an incredible experience and we were really well taken care of and memories that we’ll treasure for a lifetime.

‘It was such a surreal experience, where we were seated as their guests was just phenomenal and it’s been very much appreciated.. after a difficult time.

Father Scott added: ‘I was especially feeling a little nervous but they make you feel so relaxed and take that nervousness away.’

The Duchess of Cambridge finally met with a five-year-old cancer patient who featured in her Hold Still project after she was photographed kissing her father through a window during lockdown last year

Kate, 39, welcomed brave Mila Sneddon, of Falkirk, for tea at Holyroodhouse yesterday - wearing a pink dress after she promised to wear the little girl's favourite colour

Kate, 39, welcomed brave Mila Sneddon, of Falkirk, for tea at Holyroodhouse yesterday – wearing a pink dress after she promised to wear the little girl’s favourite colour

Mila Sneddon, of Falkirk, was photographed kissing her father through a window as she shielded while undergoing intensive chemotherapy for leukaemia during lockdown last year

Mila Sneddon, of Falkirk, was photographed kissing her father through a window as she shielded while undergoing intensive chemotherapy for leukaemia during lockdown last year

Mila and the duchess met at the Palace of Holyroodhouse and when Kate walked into the room, the face of the little girl it up.

‘Hi Mila, look at you. I want to give you a big squeezy cuddle, it’s so nice to meet you in person,’ Kate said.

The five-year-old stood up, as did her father and mother, Scott and Lynda Sneddon, and her big sister Jodi. Kate praised the little girl, who was dressed head-to-toe in pink with a matching crown headband, dress and shoes.

Kate said: ‘I love your dress, can you do a little twirl – and your shoes.’ Mila spun round for the future queen before running over to her father.

Mother-of-three Kate phoned Mila and Lynda last autumn and the conversation was released earlier this month on the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s new YouTube channel, alongside heart-warming photographs of Mila and her family.

Wearing a floral face mask to match her pink dress, Kate sat and chatted with Mila and her parents at the Palace yesterday

Wearing a floral face mask to match her pink dress, Kate sat and chatted with Mila and her parents at the Palace yesterday

Mia also wore a dainty pink dress to match the Duchess, which she matched with sweet ballet shoes and white frilled socks

Mia also wore a dainty pink dress to match the Duchess, which she matched with sweet ballet shoes and white frilled socks

Mila Sneddon, aged five, with her sister Jodi Sneddon, after meeting the Duchess of Cambridge at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh

Mila Sneddon, aged five, with her sister Jodi Sneddon, after meeting the Duchess of Cambridge at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh

Mila, pictured, was a perfect little princess, wearing a tiny crown and matching pink shoes

Mila, pictured, was a perfect little princess, wearing a tiny crown and matching pink shoes

Mila, who was four at the time, began the call by saying: ‘Good morning, Your Royal Highness,’ prompting Kate to respond: ‘Good morning. Goodness me, you’re so polite Mila.’

Mila excitedly told Kate that she enjoys walking her dog, knows the names of all the Cambridge children and likes the colour pink – prompting Kate to promise she will wear a pink dress if they have the opportunity to meet.

The little girl was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in November 2019.

When the pandemic hit, parents Lynda and Scott decided to isolate separately to minimise the risk to their daughter. Lynda stayed with Mila while service engineer Scott and Mila’s sister Jodi, 16, went to Lynda’s parents. 

Mila Sneddon, aged five, with her sister Jodi Sneddon (left), mother Lynda Sneddon and father Scott Sneddon, after meeting the Duchess of Cambridge at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh

Mila Sneddon, aged five, with her sister Jodi Sneddon (left), mother Lynda Sneddon and father Scott Sneddon, after meeting the Duchess of Cambridge at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh

‘We took the decision to isolate separately before lockdown because we were very conscious about what was happening, certainly in Europe, and in the UK, at that time,’ Lynda told the duchess.

‘But our lockdown did come with a bit of a silver lining because she’s still going through treatment and her immune system is compromised. Lockdown for us allowed us a period of time to focus on her treatment without interruption of illnesses and viruses in general, not just Covid-19.’

When asked why she had to spend time away from her father, Mila told Kate: ‘He had to look after me because I went for a treatment… When he came [back] into the house I was so surprised.’

The photograph of Mila kissing her father through the window pane was taken on their first day of separation. It went viral after Lynda shared it online with a post about the importance of observing social distancing measures and other restrictions.

Kate Middleton, 39, phoned Mila and Lynda last autumn and the conversation was released this month on the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's new YouTube channel, alongside heart-warming photographs of Mila and her family

Kate Middleton, 39, phoned Mila and Lynda last autumn and the conversation was released this month on the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s new YouTube channel, alongside heart-warming photographs of Mila and her family

The duchess thanked Mila, and her mother Lynda who took the image, for sending in the 'fantastic' pictures, adding: 'We love your photograph'. Above, a grab from the YouTube video

The duchess thanked Mila, and her mother Lynda who took the image, for sending in the ‘fantastic’ pictures, adding: ‘We love your photograph’. Above, a grab from the YouTube video

When the pandemic hit, parents Lynda and Scott decided to isolate separately to minimise the risk to their daughter. Lynda stayed with Mila while service engineer Scott and Mila's sister Jodi, 16, went to Lynda's parents. Pictured, Scott and Mila's tearful reunion

When the pandemic hit, parents Lynda and Scott decided to isolate separately to minimise the risk to their daughter. Lynda stayed with Mila while service engineer Scott and Mila’s sister Jodi, 16, went to Lynda’s parents. Pictured, Scott and Mila’s tearful reunion

She decided to submit it to Hold Still project after the Duchess of Cambridge made an appeal for submissions on This Morning.

‘I’m very grateful,’ Kate said. ‘And also for sharing such a personal time.’

Mila asked the Duchess if she had a princess costume, prompting Kate to say: ‘I’m not wearing a princess costume right now I’m afraid Mila.’

After learning Mila’s favourite colour is pink, she added: ‘I’ll have to make sure I try and find a pink dress. Hopefully when, one day, hopefully, Mila, we’ll get to meet and then I’ll wear remember to wear my pink dress for you.’ Happily for Mila, that day arrived yesterday.

At another point in their previous conversation, Mila excitedly told the Duchess: ‘I know all of your kids’ names!’ Before listing George, Charlotte and Louis.

Kate revealed: ‘Louis has gotten so big now, he’s very quick running around and he’s on his little scooter as well. He’s very quick. I can’t keep up with him.’

Mila also told Kate her favourite thing to do is walking her dog ‘Mr Cole’.

Hold Still was launched by The Duchess and the National Portrait Gallery last year and invited people of all ages from across the UK to submit a photographic portrait which they had taken during the first lockdown. 

Kate and William rounded off their tour of Scotland this evening at the Closing Ceremony of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. 

Kate and William rounded off their tour of Scotland this evening at the Closing Ceremony of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland

Kate and William rounded off their tour of Scotland this evening at the Closing Ceremony of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland

The duchess looked a picture of elegance in a chic blue Catherine Walker wool coat which cut at the knee and Emmy London heels. Having let her locks loose throughout the day, the mother-of-three swept her chestnut waves into a more refined half-updo. 

Earlier in the day Kate, a keen sportswoman, took part in a tennis session, donning her recycled preppy £90 Ralph Lauren cable knit sweatshirt, black trousers and £55 2750 Cotu Classic Superga trainers, while William, 38, also ditched his jacket and rolled up his shirtsleeves.

The royal couple also visited Starbank Park, where they helped nursery school children scatter plant seeds that will attract butterflies, and spent time with teenagers planting sunflowers as part of their Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Starbank Park is run by the City of Edinburgh Council and protected by Fields in Trust which has William as its president, a role previously held by his grandfather the Duke of Edinburgh. 

The duchess looked a picture of elegance in a chic blue Catherine Walker wool coat which cut at the knee and Emmy London heels. Having let her locks loose throughout the day, the mother-of-three swept her chestnut waves into a more refined half-updo

The duchess looked a picture of elegance in a chic blue Catherine Walker wool coat which cut at the knee and Emmy London heels. Having let her locks loose throughout the day, the mother-of-three swept her chestnut waves into a more refined half-updo

Earlier in the day Kate, a keen sportswoman, took part in a tennis session, donning her recycled preppy £90 Ralph Lauren cable knit sweatshirt, black trousers and £55 2750 Cotu Classic Superga trainers, while William, 38, also ditched his jacket and rolled up his shirtsleeves

Earlier in the day Kate, a keen sportswoman, took part in a tennis session, donning her recycled preppy £90 Ralph Lauren cable knit sweatshirt, black trousers and £55 2750 Cotu Classic Superga trainers, while William, 38, also ditched his jacket and rolled up his shirtsleeves

The royal couple also visited Starbank Park, where they helped nursery school children scatter plant seeds that will attract butterflies, and spent time with teenagers planting sunflowers as part of their Duke of Edinburgh Award

The royal couple also visited Starbank Park, where they helped nursery school children scatter plant seeds that will attract butterflies, and spent time with teenagers planting sunflowers as part of their Duke of Edinburgh Award

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