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Jason Watkins pays tribute to late daughter Maude on her 12th birthday

Amy Johnson
·2-min read
Jason Watkins, actor in W1A, during the Cheltenham Literature Festival on October 15, 2017 in Cheltenham, England.  (Photo by David Levenson/Getty Images)
Jason Watkins, actor in W1A, during the Cheltenham Literature Festival on October 15, 2017 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by David Levenson/Getty Images)

Jason Watkins has paid a touching tribute to his late daughter Maude on her 12th birthday.

Maude, whose mother is Watkins' second wife Clara Francis, died aged two and half years old from sepsis on New Year's Day 2011.

Posting to Twitter on Wednesday 7 October, the actor wrote: "I lit a candle this morning, as the sun came up as I set off for work - for my beautiful daughter Maudie who’s birthday it is today.

Read more: The early sepsis signs and symptoms to look out for

"Always in my thoughts and in my heart for ever. I seem to kiss her more and more each year on these days. #HoldingItTogether."

The 53-year-old shared a photo of the lit candle as well as two snaps of his beloved daughter.

In late 2010, the tot was suffering with a bad cough and respiratory problems which was diagnosed as croup after hospital visits.

On New Year's Eve the family were sent home by the hospital and the following morning Watkins and Francis' older daughter Bessie came into their room and told them: "I can't wake Maude.”

Watkins has described the effect of his daughter's sudden death on his family as "cataclysmic".

Clara Francis and Jason Watkins attend the After Party of the press night performance of Tom Stoppard's "Leopoldstadt" at the Century Club on February 12, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
Clara Francis and Jason Watkins attend the After Party of the press night performance of Tom Stoppard's "Leopoldstadt" at the Century Club on February 12, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)

They are parents to Bessie as well as son Gilbert, whom they had after Maude's passing. Watkins also has two adult sons from his first marriage, Pip and Freddie.

When he won the Leading Actor Bafta in 2015 for his role in The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, Watkins dedicated the prize to Maude.

He said at the time: “If there is a reason why I’m standing here it is because of our Maudie, so thank you.”

Watch: Jason Watkins struggled with filming Aberfan disaster scenes for The Crown