05/03/2020 - Buckingham Palace

Dear Rebecca, 
Last Thursday, I had the opportunity of a lifetime. I was one of six young leaders chosen by the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust to meet with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex at Buckingham Palace, yes Harry and Meghan!! We were invited to talk about the work we were all doing to create equal opportunities and tackle mental health. It was without a doubt one of the most amazing, yet surreal, experiences of my life. Both the Duke and Duchess were exceptional. They are genuine beacons of light in society and I cannot thank them and the QCT enough for what was a morning I will never ever forget. This was a close, intimate conversation. Just the 6 of us and the Duke and Duchess talking about what can be done to create a more equal society and break the stigma around mental illness. While I was there I felt like I was in a bubble. Like the real world didn’t exist. I smiled, I laughed and I cried throughout the conversation. It wasn’t until I got home that I realised the one person who would be been the most proud of me, and with whom I most wanted to share the experience, wasn’t there - you.

These kinds of conversations were the ones that brought you so much joy. You lit up when talking about how we could right the wrongs of the world. We would talk for hours, both when you were in and out hospital, about how we could make a positive change in the world. In fact the idea for Sophie Says started as a joint endeavour. I had the idea and so I said I would write and with the artistry that you possessed you said you would illustrate. However, very soon after that conversation, you went into hospital for over 5 months. You told me to carry on and you saw the book come to life before she passed away. You even sat and read it to Asher with him on your lap. An image that will always be imprinted on my mind with such love. 

Last Thursday was one of the most bittersweet days I’ve ever had in my life. Rebecca, for the past two weeks there has been a star that has appeared in the same place each night near our flat. Each night I have gone out and spoken to that star and told you about my days. On Thursday night I sat and looked up at that star and told you about what I had done that day. I really, really hope you’re proud and I promise to continue to make you proud by ensuring this book and the next one, “Sophie Says: It’s Okay Not To Be Okay”, which I have written to ensure your legacy lives on, make as big of a social impact as it possible can.
I hope you’re dancing up there with all the rainbows!
I miss you so much 
All my Love
Esther x 

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