It was a rough lockdown for five-year-old Mila Sneddon. As Britain was put under strict stay-at-home orders last spring, Mila was undergoing chemotherapy in her battle with leukemia.
Her dad still had to go to work, however, so the family made the difficult decision to keep Mila away from her father to minimize the risk of her catching. For seven weeks, Mila only got to see her dad through the window of their home in Falkirk, Scotland.
Mila's mother took a photo of her little girl kissing the window during her first distanced visit with her dad and submitted it to a community art project spearheaded by Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, for the National Portrait Gallery.
The photo was selected for the "Stand Still" project and the duchess saw it, then reached out to Mila's family. Eventually the duchess spoke on the phone with the youngster, and during that conversation Mila noted that she would quite like to meet a real princess, dressed in her favorite color, pink. Duchess Kate said she could make it happen.
On Wednesday, she kept her promise.
During an official tour of Scotland this week, Prince William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, invited Mila's family to the official royal residence in Edinburgh.
In an ornate reception room inside the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Mila — also dressed from head to toe in pink — plunked down onto a big squishy sofa with Kate, also in pink, for a chat.
"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 as she met the little girl, according to the BBC. She asked Mila to "do a little twirl," so she could fully appreciate the effort that had gone into Mila's own full-pink ensemble.
Aside from the private meeting inside the palace, Mila and her family were also hosted by the royal couple for a display of Scottish military regalia. They all sat in a courtyard to watch a "Beating Retreat," a historic military ceremony for which the Massed Pipes and Drums of the Combined Cadet Force in Scotland played while local school dancers performed a traditional jig.
It was a day that young Mila will probably remember forever, and she may have her own, handmade keepsake to remind her of the time she met a real-life princess in pink.
When a reporter asked the little girl what she and the Duchess of Cambridge had discussed during their private meeting, Mila said: "Well, I was busy drawing a picture — a robot."