The Duchess is helping to end the silence that surrounds domestic violence.”

Sandra Horley, CEO, Refuge

The Duchess of Cornwall is Patron or President of 92 charities 

The Duchess of Cornwall

Domestic Abuse Reception
and Care Bag Project

It was following The Duchess of Cornwall’s visit to Safe Lives, a charity dedicated to ending domestic abuse, in January 2016 that Her Royal Highness realised she wanted to help in some way. In July 2016, The Duchess hosted a reception at Clarence House which provided a platform for key stakeholders, government figures, practitioners and survivors to get together to find ways of improving the lives of survivors and ways of ending domestic abuse.

Client feedback about the wash bags has been extremely positive. Many are surprised to even be offered them – reactions include ‘Wow, is this really for me?’ and ‘Can I keep all of this?’ For some clients, they might not have a regular place to sleep or live – so offering them the care bag can mean a great deal.”

Jo Delaforce, Matron, The Havens

In September 2016, Her Royal Highness continued with this work by visiting Refuge, the largest specialist provider in the country of life-saving services for women and children experiencing domestic violence and other forms of gender violence. The Duchess met more survivors and volunteers and listened to their stories. Then, in February, The Duchess visited Women’s Aid, a grassroots federation that provides lifesaving services and, with Refuge, manages the national domestic violence 24-hour helpline.

This year, Her Royal Highness marked another important milestone in this area. The Care Bag project which had begun as a pilot scheme in 2011 was finally rolled out nationally. The scheme provides a wash bag of toiletries for victims of rape and sexual abuse to use following their physical examinations which can often be very difficult experiences. The pilot scheme began at the three London Havens, which are SARCs (Sexual Assault Referral Centres), and following its success the pharmaceutical company Boots, based in Nottingham, agreed to donate up to 13,000 care bags annually and to distribute them to all 49 SARCs throughout the United Kingdom.

We are truly grateful for the privilege of meeting The Duchess and being invited into her home for such a wonderful occasion. It’s clear how kind and caring The Duchess is and what great affection she has for the children, they were so relaxed with her. It’s a day we will all treasure forever.”

Sophie Dziwinski, Roald Dahl’s
Marvellous Children’s Charity

We are hugely grateful to both The Duchess of Cornwall and our victim group for taking the time to explore the impact of domestic abuse. It is a damaging and traumatic experience and to talk openly about their stories is remarkably brave. We are delighted that The Duchess of Cornwall will meet them, and find out more about what we’re doing to tackle domestic abuse.”

Diana Barran, CEO, SafeLives

500 Words 

The Duchess supported BBC Radio 2’s 500 Words creative-writing competition for a second year by becoming an Honorary Judge. The competition invites children aged five to 13 to compose an original work of fiction in 500 words or less. In May, Her Royal Highness attended the 500 Words final at Shakespeare’s Globe theatre in London, where she presented gold medals to the winning young writers during the live broadcast of Chris Evans’s Radio 2 Breakfast Show. During a speech, Her Royal Highness said: “I do hope that everyone who took part in this inspiring competition will, like Shakespeare, carry on enjoying the power of words and weaving the magic of stories”.

Roald Dahl 100

As Patron of Roald Dahl 100, a nationwide year of celebration to mark the centenary of the birth of one of Britain’s best-loved children’s authors, The Duchess met children taking part in a poetry workshop at the Norwegian Church and enjoyed Dahl-inspired performances at the Millennium Centre, Cardiff, in July. Her Royal Highness also designed a Dream Jar in St James’s Park as part of the BFG Dream Jar Trail public art installation, based on her hope that every child should learn to read and discover a life-long pleasure of books. The Dream Jar was subsequently auctioned to raise funds for Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity.

International Women’s Day

The Duchess of Cornwall hosted a reception at Buckingham Palace on International Women’s Day in March 2017, to celebrate the Women of the World Festival. The Duchess is President of Southbank Centre’s Women of the World Festival, which has grown to become a global network of festivals championing gender equality, celebrating the achievements of women and girls, and examining the obstacles which stop them from fulfilling their potential. Now in its seventh year, WOW reaches almost two million people across five continents. Leading women from national life attended the event including actress, Gillian Anderson; author, Kathy Lette and entrepreneur, Karren Brady.

Worshipful Company of Vintners

In January, The Duchess of Cornwall joined past and present members of the Worshipful Company of Vintners at Vintners’ Hall in London, to be installed as an honorary Liveryman of the Company before joining the Court for a reception. The Vintners’ Company, with its first Charter in 1363, is one of the Twelve Great Livery Companies of the City of London and in 2013 the Company celebrated its 650th anniversary. The Company’s membership consists of over 500 Freemen and Liverymen. The Company has close links with the United Kingdom Vineyards’ Association, which The Duchess has been President of since 2011.

Battersea Dogs & Cats Home gains a new patron

The Duchess visited Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, London, in September, to open the new Veterinary Hospital and Centre of Excellence. The new facilities will be used for extensive training, both internally and externally, and for hosting large groups of national and international visitors. Later, in January, The Duchess of Cornwall visited Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, Old Windsor, and was announced as the charity’s new Royal Patron, taking over from Her Majesty The Queen. After being greeted by a dogs’ guard of honour, The Duchess toured the catteries and kennels and met staff working at the in-house clinic. Her Royal Highness’s rescue dogs, Beth and Bluebell, were also at the centre and Beth was put through her paces on the outdoor agility course.

Highlights 2016/17