"I KNOW this place will really be the pinnacle of child care."
Those were the words of Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrice as she officially opened the Forget Me Not Children's Hospice, at Brackenhall, yesterday.
Unveiling a sculpture at the official opening of Russell House, the princess praised the hospice, its staff, its children, their families, its volunteers and fundraisers.Related content
Before her speech Princess Beatrice toured the hospice, which opened in December 2012, and met children and families using the facilities.
The princess met the charity's founders, trustees, employees, volunteers and its ambassador, Paralympic gold medallist, Hannah Cockroft.
Before she unveiled the sculpture, donated by Holmfirth sculptor, Pat Walls, Princess Beatrice said: "It's an incredible honour to be here today, to see this dream come into reality...and to meet some of the families who get to come here every day and feel the safety and security that comes with knowing you have the right team and people supporting you every day so that your children, no matter what their condition, can be supported and have the best chance.
"I'm so honoured today to meet Linda Senior and her family, who are the inspiration for this incredible place, and all of you to make a little piece of magic come to life."
The princess added: "With all your support I know this place will really be the pinnacle of childcare."
Princess Beatrice left the hospice waving a teddy she had been given from the window of her car.
Russell House is named after Russell Shepherd, the son of Forget Me Not Children's Hospice founder, Linda Senior.
When Russell, now 20, was born with hydrocephalus (also known as water on the brain) Ms Senior was told her son was unlikely to live very long.
Single mum Ms Senior, of Ainley Top, had been travelling to and from Martin House, Wetherby, to visit Russell, while simultaneously trying to give Russell's twin brother, Tom, a normal childhood.
In 2001, Ms Senior started a campaign to open a hospice to serve children from Kirklees and Calderdale.
On her vision coming into reality, Ms Senior said: "It's a bit overwhelming. I've cried a bit; now I'm just a bit ecstatic.
"I never envisaged that we'd have a royal opening at the hospice. I only found out yesterday.
"The princess was fantastic. I'm hoping one day she will become our patron; you never know!"Related content
For more about Forget Me Not Childrens Hospice visit: www.forgetmenotchild.co.uk