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Sidmouth’s ‘real-life Rapunzel’ goes global

17:00 01 August 2014

Charlie Tillotson holds up her hair that will be used by the Little Princess Trust. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shs 9312-29-14SH To order your copy of this photograph go to and click on Photo Orders

Charlie Tillotson holds up her hair that will be used by the Little Princess Trust. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shs 9312-29-14SH To order your copy of this photograph go to and click on Photo Orders


The fairytale story of a selfless Sidmouth six-year-old who lopped off her locks to help children with cancer has been shared around the world.

‘Real-life Rapunzel’ Charlie Tillotson brought her dad Steve to tears when she said she wanted to help the less fortunate – and now the story has gone ‘viral’ and inspired readers from the USA and Portugal to China and Russia.

“It’s brilliant. It feels strange but I like it,” said Charlie about knowing people all over the world are reading her story.

“It’s amazing,” said Steve. “It’s hard for her to comprehend – and for us, too. It’s unbelievable that the story went viral. The only reason we can think is that there’s so much bad going on in the world that people are looking for the slightest bit of good news.”

He said Charlie plans to grow her hair back and do it all over again, but he thinks they need to do something completely new to capture the public’s imagination again.

Donations of up to $50 have come in since the story went international, which is boosting the £1,400 raised locally that is going to Children with Cancer UK.

To boost the funds further, visit

Meanwhile the hair from the cut is being sent to China, where it will be made into a wig before coming back to the UK for a boy or girl going through cancer treatment.

Charlie, a pupil at Newton Poppleford Primary School, thought the appeal would not even bring in £500, so was ‘ecstatic’ at her total – and it is still going up.


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