Prince Harry’s message for Long Sutton girl Alice

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Prince Harry sent his warmest best wishes to Alice Bates as she celebrated her best birthday ever.

Inside a letter from Kensington Palace there was a photo of the prince which Harry asked us pass on to Alice along with his “hopes she has a wonderful birthday”.

Disney princess Alice with the photograph sent by Prince Harry. SG040217-178TW

Disney princess Alice with the photograph sent by Prince Harry. SG040217-178TW

Another big surprise came from Arsenal – Alice’s favourite club – who sent a happy tenth birthday letter and signed photographs of stars including Alice’s hero, Alexis Sanchez, which will take pride of place in her newly created, birthday red and white bedroom.

It’s been a dizzying few days for Alice and her family as more and more of Alice’s ten birthday wishes came true.

Thanks to our readers, hundreds of schoolchildren across South Holland, and Tesco in Holbeach, Alice received more than 3,000 birthday cards – three times as many as she had wished for.

Also thanks to our amazing readers, our appeal to provide Alice with a therapy play lodge was a huge success and now Tesco have stepped in to send Alice and her family to Disneyland Paris.

On Saturday night, Alice was the star at her big Disney party in Gedney’s Victory Hall.

Alice looked every inch a princess as she wore a replica of the wedding dress donned by Ariel in Disney’s Little Mermaid – Alice’s dress was made for her by her eldest sister, Abigail.

Brave Alice suffers from cerebral palsy and has battled life-threatening illnesses from the day she was born.

In a fortnight, she is due to see a hospital consultant to learn about operations that lie ahead because she’s at high orthopaedic risk and is likely to need surgery on her hips.

For now Alice and her family are buoyed up by happiness and the good wishes and generosity shown by the many people who have rallied round to make Alice’s birthday so wonderful.

Charlotte said: “Alice’s birthday celebrations have brought us together with our community and new friends.

“I know no matter what this year holds we have people around us that care now and that gives me a great deal of hope for the future.”

• Tesco in Holbeach threw a surprise party for Alice on Thursday ... and made three of her 10th birthay wishes come true in one go.

The store had collected more than 1,000 birthday cards, presented Alice with a voucher for the brand new Wii when it is released and pledged to fundraise to send the eight-strong Bates family on a dream holiday to Disneyland Paris.

There were 268 more cards from William Stukeley Primary School, presented at the party by pupils Kiera and Evie Markham.

News of the Disneyland fundraising saw Charlotte shedding tears of joy and Alice’s dad, Andy, could hardly believe his ears when he heard later.

Overjoyed Andy told us: “I think we were all gobsmacked, to be honest. I was trying to put some money away so Charlotte, Abigail and Alice could go but for all of us to be able to go together will be absolutely amazing.”

Tesco people manager Nicola Southwell said: “The party was marvellous. Charlotte was over the moon, very overwhelmed, and Alice told us ‘I feel loved’.”

The party at Tesco included treats of pizza, chips and birthday cake.