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The Countess of Wessex hosts very special afternoon tea at the palace

Sophie has been patron of The Scar Free Foundation since 2003

sophie wessex afternoon tea
Danielle Stacey
Danielle StaceyOnline Royal CorrespondentLondon
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The Countess of Wessex hosted a very special afternoon tea at St James's Palace this week as she met four young ambassadors from The Scar Free Foundation.

Sophie, 56, who has been patron of the charity since 2003, heard the children's stories about what it is like to live with scarring, ahead of United Nations' World Children's Day on 20 November.

Delilah, 12, Elizabeth, eight, Abi, ten, and Emily, 11, joined the Countess at the palace along with their mothers, Brendan Eley, CEO of The Scar Free Foundation and Amanda McKechnie, also from the charity on Tuesday.

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Delilah and Elizabeth are both burns survivors, having been involved in accidents when they were younger. 

Delilah said: "People would stare and when I was growing up children would be scared to play with me. But I learned to explain – 'This is me. These are my scars – they don't hurt'." 

sophie wessex scar free foundation 1© The Scar Free Foundation

The Countess invited the young ambassadors for tea

She also explained to the Countess how her fingers haven't fully formed due to the burn injury which can make certain aspects difficult. Elizabeth shared with Sophie how her burn injuries have left her without fully formed fingers or fingerprints so – when she is old enough – she won't be able to use the machines at school or use a mobile phone. 

Elizabeth's mum Sinead, and Delilah's mum both spoke about the itching caused by scarring and how difficult that can be to experience on a daily basis. 

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sophie wessex scar free foundation© The Scar Free Foundation

Sophie with The Scar Free Foundation's young ambassadors

The Countess, who wore a berry-hued jumper and an emerald green Alberta Ferretti midi skirt for the afternoon tea, told the young ambassadors: "I am so grateful to have you helping to educate and inform people about the problems of scarring. Your knowledge is power and you are helping The Scar Free Foundation to make people more aware by sharing your stories. It's important that people see the person, not just the scars."

 The Scar Free Foundation is the only charity to focus solely on scarring. Over the last 20 years it has overseen a £50 million programme of life-changing medical research, working with leading clinicians and researchers in world-class institutions across the UK. It aims to achieve scar free healing within a generation for the millions of people living with scarring in the UK and across the world.   

The United Nations' World Children's Day was first established in 1954 and is celebrated every year on 20 November. This year's theme is 'A better future for every child'.  

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