It’s taken a lot of guts, you know, it really has. She could have sat there watching daytime telly. But it’s like she’s embraced it, that’s it, she’s really embraced it and gone for it and all her charity work. She’s so easy to talk to and she’s passionate about animals which is something else I really respect.”

Paul O’grady When Asked About The Duchess Becoming a Member Of The Monarchy Late In Life

The Duchess of Cornwall is Patron or President of 94 charities 

The Duchess of Cornwall

70th Birthday

In July, The Duchess celebrated her 70th Birthday. The Prince of Wales held a Reception at Clarence House to mark Her Royal Highness’s birthday, inviting friends, family, representatives from The Duchess’s patronage organisations, charities and military affiliations to attend.

Just a few days before her 70th birthday, The Duchess of Cornwall welcomed a vintage bus load of excited school children for tea at Clarence House, accompanied by David Walliams who was bus conductor for the day.

In celebration of Her Royal Highness’s birthday the National Literacy Trust commissioned 70 book cases filled with 70 books, by well-known authors such as Roald Dahl, JK Rowling and Ted Hughes, which were specially chosen by children from all over the country. These bookshelves were distributed to 70 schools across the country to mark the occasion of this milestone birthday of the National Literacy Trust’s Patron, The Duchess of Cornwall.

70 books that will be distributed to 70 schools around the UK:

  1. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J K Rowling
  2. Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World by Kate Pankhurst
  3. You’re a Bad Man, Mr Gum! by Andy Stanton
  4. War Horse by Michael Morpurgo
  5. Why Can’t I Tickle Myself? By Gemma Elwin Harris, Bear Grylls, Miranda Hart, Sir David Attenborough
  6. Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell
  7. The Iron Man by Ted Hughes
  8. Beautiful Birds Colouring Book by Emmanuelle Walker
  9. How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell
  10. Bake Me a Story by Nadiya Hussain
  11. The Arrival by Shaun Tan
  12. Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae
  13. I Will Not Ever Never Eat a Tomato by Lauren Child
  14. Horrid Henry by Francesca Simon
  15. Asterix the Gaul by Rene Goscinny
  16. The Boy in the Dress by David Walliams
  17. Gangsta Granny by David Walliams
  18. The Cat in the Hat by Dr Seuss
  19. The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt
  20. A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond
  21. 21Dirty Bertie: Rats by Alan MacDonald
  22. Animal Journeys by Patricia Hegarty
  23. The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin
  24. The 78 Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths
  25. Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse by Chris Riddell
  26. Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson
  27. Peace at Last by Jill Murphy
  28. The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson/Axel Scheffler
  29. It’s all about… Super Solar System
  30. There’s a Bear on My Chair by Ross Collins
  31. Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
  32. A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz
  33. Elmer by David McKee
  34. Grk and the Pelotti Gang by Joshua Doder
  35. The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brocket by John Boyne
  36. Wonder by R. J. Palacio
  37. Itch – The Explosive Adventures of the Element Hunter by Simon Mayo
  38. The Book With No Pictures by B J Novak
  39. Jeremy Strong’s Laugh-your-socks-off Joke Book by Jeremy Strong
  40. Once by Morris Gleitzman
  41. Silverfin: The Graphic Novel by Charlie Higson
  42. Charlotte’s Web by E B White
  43. Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
  44. Pig Heart Boy by Malorie Blackman
  45. Quick, Let’s Get Out of Here by Michael Rosen and Quentin Blake
  46. Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild
  47. The Twits by Roald Dahl
  48. Matilda by Roald Dahl
  49. The Suitcase Kid by Jacqueline Wilson
  50. Make it Grow by Debbie Powell
  51. Ella Queen of Jazz by Helen Hancocks
  52. Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman
  53. Day of the Dinosaurs by Steve Brusatte
  54. 100 Most Feared Creatures by Anna Claybourne
  55. A Journey Through: Space by Steve Parker
  56. Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson
  57. The Brilliant World of Tom Gates by Liz Pichon
  58. The Disgusting Sandwich by Gareth Edwards
  59. The Dreamsnatcher by Abi Elphinstone
  60. Grandad’s Island by Benji Davies
  61. SUPERTATO: Veggies Assemble by Sue HendraCoding for Beginners using Scratch by Jonathan Melmoth, Rosie Dickins
  62. Cogheart by Peter Bunzl
  63. Coding for Beginners using Scratch by Jonathan Melmoth, Rosie Dickins
  64. Usborne Children’s Picture Atlas by Ruth Brocklehurst
  65. Return by Aaron Becker
  66. I am Henry Finch by Alexis Deacon
  67. Gorilla by Anthony Browne
  68. The Blurred Man and I Know What You Did Last Wednesday by Anthony Horowitz
  69. The Boy Who Swam with Piranhas by David Almond
  70. Julius Zebra: Rumble with the Romans! by Gary Northfield

Every year we are fortunate to take some of the children and young people we care for, together with their parents to Clarence House, to hang decorations on the Christmas Tree. It’s a very special occasion for the children who attend. HRH The Duchess of Cornwall is simply wonderful in her support of Helen & Douglas House which helps us tremendously, raising awareness of how we provide care for terminally ill children, young adults and their families.”

Clare Periton, Chief Executive Officer, Helen & Douglas House

We were delighted when HRH The Duchess of Cornwall announced that she would become a Patron of The Silver Line. Not only a wonderful honour, it will assist us enormously to spread awareness of the charity’s services so that we can reach out to all the vulnerable older people who need us.”

Nina Gopal, The Silver Line
Women of the Year Lunch

The Duchess attended the Women of the Year Lunch in October. The Lunch is an annual event that celebrates the achievements of women from across the UK, and more than 400 women attended the 2017 lunch. In her speech, Her Royal Highness said to the women present, “You all represent, not only yourselves and your own achievements, but also the millions of remarkable women who make a difference every day. I salute you all – for your courage, selflessness and dedication”. The Duchess also presented the Women of the Year Award, which was given to members of the Manchester emergency and medical services following the terror attack earlier in the year.

You all represent, not only yourselves and your own achievements, but also the millions of remarkable women who make a difference every day. I salute you all – for your courage, selflessness and dedication.”

Her Royal Highness speaking at the event
500 Words

The Duchess supported BBC Radio 2’s 500 Words creative-writing competition for a third year as Honorary Judge. The competition invites children aged five to 13 to compose an original work of fiction in no more than 500 words. In June, Her Royal Highness attended the final at the Tower of London, where she presented gold medals to the winning young writers during the live broadcast of Chris Evans’s Radio 2 Breakfast Show.

Wherever you find your inspiration, in the past, present or future, I’m thrilled that you love writing. Your stories are brimming with ideas, and fizzing with energy, and hopefully encouraging others, who are listening today, to follow your example”.

The Duchess of Cornwall speaking at the final of the competition

Silver Line

In 2017, The Duchess became Patron of The Silver Line, a helpline that offers advice and friendship to older people who may be isolated or lonely. The helpline has taken over 1.6 million calls since it was founded in November 2013 by Dame Esther Rantzen. Her Royal Highness visited The Silver Line last December with Dame Esther to see the helpline in action and to meet staff and volunteers. The Duchess also spent time chatting on the phone to a regular caller, Betty.

Essay Prize

The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition is the worlds’ oldest international schools writing competition, and has been managed by The Royal Commonwealth Society since 1883. Last year, there were more than 12,000 entries from across the Commonwealth. In November, Her Royal Highness hosted a reception for the young finalists and their families in Buckingham Palace, where she presented the prizes and gave a speech, saying, “The competition is challenging, because it asks all of you who have entered to write about subjects that require serious thought – from poverty to pollution, from gender inequality to the role of the Commonwealth itself. It is challenging, but it is exciting, too, because it gives you the chance to express yourselves through poems, stories and scripts as well as traditional essays”.

Earlier in the year, while on official visits to Malaysia and Singapore, Her Royal Highness met young people who had entered the competition.

Helen & Douglas
Christmas Tree

The Duchess invited children and young people from Helen & Douglas House and Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity to help decorate the Clarence House Christmas tree. Since 2007, Her Royal Highness has been Patron of Helen & Douglas House, which helps families cope with the challenges of looking after a terminally ill baby, child or young adult. Last year, The Duchess also became the Royal Patron of Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity, which provides specialist nurses to ensure seriously ill children and their families receive the support they need and deserve. After the Christmas tree had been decorated, all the guests were invited to have sausages and mash and mince pies with Her Royal Highness.

Strictly Come Dancing

In November, Her Royal Highness hosted a tea dance attended by the National Osteoporosis Society and the Strictly Come Dancing dancers and celebrities at Buckingham Palace. The Duchess is President of the National Osteoporosis Society, and the tea dance highlighted the benefits of older people staying active. (Osteoporosis is a fragile bone condition which leads to painful and often debilitating broken bones and is estimated to affect three million people in the UK. It causes 500,000 fragility fractures every year – one every minute). At the end of tea, Her Royal Highness danced the cha cha cha with Brendan Cole and Craig Revel Horwood, who is also a Patron of the National Osteoporosis Society.

Highlights 2017/18