Saturday, 18 July 2020

The Duchess of Cornwall's Birthday Closes a Busy Week for Charles & Camilla

Happy Birthday, Camilla! The Duchess of Cornwall is celebrating her 73rd birthday today. To mark the occasion, Clarence House shared a lovely new photo taken by Chris Jackson of the Duchess, wearing a blue silk linen dress by Anna Valentine, in her garden. It's been quite a day for the Royal family with Princess Beatrice's wedding, the Queen knighting Captain Sir Tom Moore (more on that shortly), and Camilla's birthday. It marks the end of another busy week for the Duchess and the Prince of Wales.

On Monday, the Prince visited Wales to carry out engagements in Abercynon and Merthyr Tydfil. Each year, Charles and Camilla spend a week in Wales focused on highlighting charitable organisations, thriving local business and enterprise, and supporting causes closest to their hearts. It's really an excellent way of connecting with locals and maintaining close bonds. Whilst it wasn't possible for it to go ahead as planned due to the pandemic, Charles was determined to undertake as much work as possible.

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Charles visited a family-run travel and holiday business, Edwards Coaches, who have been impacted by the pandemic and are now beginning to restart some of their operations. Five generation of the Edwards family have run the business since 1925. Managing director Jason Edwards described the royal visit as an "honour and a privilege", adding it was a huge boost for a small family-run business to have the future king not only visiting but taking an interest in the challenges they've faced in recent months.

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More from the Mail Online:

'He first met Ian Evans, 35, a transport supervisor, who spoke of the devastation caused to Nantgarw during the Storm Dennis floods. 'We were part of the evacuation team for the floods and I was explaining how emotional it was to see the devastation and how rewarding it was also to be part of it and see the whole community pulling together,' Mr Evans said.
'He asked me how I felt about it and how the emergency services were. I said they were second-to-none.' The staff helped transport residents from their flooded homes to Llantrisant, where a crisis centre was set up.
Nigel Owens, 45, who works for Edwards Coaches, told Charles his wife Angela works as a theatre nurse at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital. 'He was asking me about how she has coped through Covid-19 regarding her personal protective equipment (PPE),' Mr Owens said. Her face is badly bruised from it all but she has never complained once. She loves her job; she has been there 11 years.'
Mr Owens organised nine coaches from Edwards Coaches to travel to the hospital and show support for the staff during one of the Clap for Carers Thursday night events, which he described as 'emotional'.'

From there, Charles met members of staff from Prince Charles Hospital who have been on the front line during the coronavirus crisis. He thanked them for their hard work and dedication.

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Professor Marcus Longley, Chair of Cwm Taf Morgannwg UHB, who greeted the Prince on arrival, said: “It was wonderful to have His Royal Highness pay a visit to our staff and hear about their experiences. It’s been a tough few months for teams as they have gone above and beyond and worked exceptionally hard to respond to COVID19 and today’s visit from the Prince to thank them in person will have really lifted the spirits.

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Sophie Roberts, Operating Department Practitioner, has worked throughout the pandemic. Sophie said: "What an unforgettable and humbling experience it was to meet Prince Charles today. I was so shocked by the visit. I feel so much gratitude that the efforts of staff at Prince Charles Hospital and CTM have been recognised not only by others, but royalty themselves. It was an absolute honour. As a healthcare professional, we carry out our roles through pure care and compassion; we never feel recognition for our efforts is needed. COVID-19 has been tough for so many, and I have been extremely proud of the efforts from all. Prince Charles Hospital is known for its high level of kindness and I genuinely believe this allowed teams from all areas throughout the hospital to stick together and support the people of our community through sickness and in health. I feel so proud to be part of Prince Charles hospital, especially through the trying times of a worldwide pandemic."

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On Tuesday, the Duchess of Cornwall visited Wiltshire to visit Youth Action Wiltshire's Oxenwood Outdoor Activity Centre and meet young carers.

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The centre offers support to vulnerable young carers from the county, giving them the opportunity to engage in outdoor activities as part of a team, to help develop their cores skills, build their self-esteem and confidence.

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Camilla took the opportunity to thank teenagers who played pivotal roles both within their own families and communities during lockdown: "I would just like to say a huge thank you to young carers because you all do the most brilliant job."

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More from The Daily Mail:

'One of the young carers, Caitlyn Newble, 16, from Trowbridge, provides support to her sister and mother, and afterwards spoke of meeting the duchess.
'It was really wonderful and she’s really, really lovely. We have activities like archery, the shooting ranges. As a young carer, I come here for activity days to get me out from home, to have some fresh air and somewhere to learn new skills.'

The charity’s Chair of Trustees Martin Hamer said: "We, as Community First, were very pleased to be able to work with Wiltshire Council to acquire the Oxenwood Centre last year.  It complements many of our core activities, maintains Outdoor Education for the young people of Wiltshire and affords the opportunity to further diversify our work with young people and adults across the county.  We thank our staff, our small army of volunteers, and all the other people who have supported us in this endeavour. It is a very real pleasure to welcome Her Royal Highness here today and we are all delighted that our Patron, the Duchess has also extended her patronage of the charity. HRH has been our Patron since 2005.  As the lockdown comes to an end, it is fitting that we invite Her Royal Highness to cut this ribbon to symbolise the re-opening of the centre."

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The following day, the Duchess visited Royal Hospital Chelsea where she met members of staff and reviewed Chelsea Pensioners on Parade. Camilla was regal in a white Fiona Clare coat and a Philip Treacy hat. 

In a heartfelt speech, the Duchess paid tribute to the Chelsea Pensioners after the death of colleagues and friends due to COVID-19: "I know that you have been through a particularly tough time of late, having lost ten Pensioners to Covid-19. I should like to express my heartfelt sympathy to the families of those who have died, and to each of you as you go through the painful process of adjusting to the gap left by those much-loved friends." Camilla added: "In times of war and times of peace, whether seen or unseen, the armed forces support and strengthen our nation, just as each one of you Chelsea Pensioners did throughout your careers."

Clarence House noted: "The Founder’s Day Parade commemorates King Charles II’s founding of the Royal Hospital Chelsea in 1682. Founder’s Day is also known as Oak Apple Day referring to the oak tree that the King hid in to avoid capture by Parliamentary forces after the Battle of Worcester in 1651. In addition to the establishment of the hospital, this annual celebration commemorates that escape and as a tribute the statue of Charles II in Figure Court is decorated in oak leaves."

Yesterday, Prince Charles, Marshal of the Royal Air Force, attended the graduation ceremony of the Queen’s Squadron at RAF College Cranwell as the Reviewing Officer.

Clarence House noted: "His Royal Highness last visited RAF Cranwell in 2008 for the Duke of Cambridge’s Wings graduation ceremony, and last attended a graduation ceremony as the Reviewing Officer in 2001. His Royal Highness began his own career in the Armed Services in March 1971, when he started an attachment with the RAF at Cranwell. In June 2012, the Prince of Wales was appointed to the rank of Marshal of the RAF, the highest rank in the British Royal Air Force." This year has special significance as the RAF College is celebrating its centenary.

And today, back in Wales, Charles thanked key workers at Llandovery Hospital for their tireless efforts during the pandemic. 

I'm completing this packed post with a very sweet birthday video from Camilla's charities with warm wishes, singing and cheers from several of the organisations grateful for her support.


  1. It isn't until it's all together like this that you can see just how much theyve done in a week, especially as the weeks & days merge in this lockdown limbo at the moment.

    Given their age it is quite a pace they keep!

    Another great post, very informative thank you

  2. Camilla looked fabulous in her birthday photo and I hadn't appreciated quite what a busy week she had before it. Hope she got time to put her feet up! She looked tremendous in the white Fiona Clare coat for her Chelsea pensioners visit. Too tragic they have lost 10 of their colleagues to the virus. It was good to see Charles looking so well and happy on his engagements.

  3. A busy week for the Birthday girl. Happy 73rd Birthday and many more to come. Love the white ensemble a lot.