WHEN Daniel Walls started to collect donations for a sponsored walk at Hinchingbrooke Country Park, little did he realise he’d be able to count the wife of the Heir to Throne as one of his backers.

Yet alongside the more predictable names of school friends and relatives, the nine-year-old can proudly put down the Duchess of Cornwall Camilla Parker-Bowles as a supporter.

The Type I diabetes sufferer, of Station Road, Tilbrook, wrote to Her Royal Highness while organising the event to raise funds for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and Hinchingbrooke Hospital Paediatric Diabetes Education Fund on September 23.

Not surprisingly he thought the Duchess might be a little too busy to send a response - until a letter dropped on the mat at home from Clarence House.

To his delight, Camilla had sent him a handwritten note thanking him for his lovely letter and apologising for not being able to attend his event in person but enclosing a cheque to help with his fundraising.

Mum Susan Walls said: "He was delighted. It was a lovely thing for the Dutchess of Cornwall to do,

"It's great that she wants to support the event. There is a little bit of stigma attached to diabetes because people don't always know about the difference between Type I and Type II.

"The charity encourages people to youth ambassadors to encourage greater awareness about the illness."

Daniel is one of only 400,000 people in the UK to be affected by the chronic life-threatening condition.

Whereas Type II diabetes is often associated with obesity and eating too much sugar, Type I is not caused by lifestyle and cannot be preveneted.

Multiple daily injections of insulin are needed each day and Daniel visits Hichingbrooke Hospital every three months for check ups.

The sponsored walk starts at 1pm, with registration from 12.30pm.

Routes of 1km and 5km are available and a family fun day will take place on the park afterwards.

For more information, or to obtain a sponsorship form, email JDRFHuntingdonwalk@aol.com.