The Duchess of Cornwall: Best of 2019
The Duchess of Cornwall will be celebrating her 15th anniversary to Prince Charles next year and through the past 14 years in the Royal Family she has proven her work ethic and 2019 was no exception. Camilla has carved out her own path through the years with particular focus on health, literacy, animals and supporting women. Here are some of my favorite moments from the Duchess of Cornwall this year.
10. Royal Visit Ireland
This Spring the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visited Ireland and Northern Ireland and the trip featured some of the best engagements of the year. While in Ireland they were presented with Honey from Powerscourt Estates bee hives to celebrate Bee Day. The Duchess of Cornwall then went to Ireland's oldest working Mill where she was shown how they make handwoven blankets. In Northern Ireland Charles and Camilla joined a community celebration which included a big lunch and then stayed for arts and crafts.
The Royals have been making more frequent trips to Ireland since 2016 which will likely continue for the next few years and their visits highlight the beauty of the country as well as their culture and heritage. It can be difficult on Royal Visits for it to seem natural as a lot of it can feel staged but Camilla and Charles did a wonderful job focusing on the best of both Ireland and Northern Ireland.
9. Commissioning of the Prince of Wales
This winter the Royal Navy welcomed a new ship to its fleet, HMS Prince of Wales. The Duchess of Cornwall was the ship's sponsor and has attended several engagements from when it was being built to when it was officially commissioned. Ceremonial military events like naming ceremonies, parades or commissions are always a favorite given the pomp and circumstance that goes into the ceremony traditions.
8. 500 Words
500 Words one of several literary based or writing based charities, organizations or competitions the Duchess of Cornwall supports. This year she helped pick the winning story as an honorary judge of the BBC competition. The final was hosted at Windsor Castle and included a performance by busted. Camilla has shared her passion for reading and continues to support charities and organizations that engage young children in reading and writing. The event was more informal and the Duchess of Cornwall's interest in the topic really shone through.
7. Garter Day
The Duchess of Cornwall represents the United Kingdom on several foreign visits as well as hosting foreign leaders in the U.K. This year King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and King Felipe of Spain were both vested into the order of the Garter which meant a lot of Royals from different countries were all together. The Duchess of Cornwall attended the event alongside other members of the British Royal family including the Duchess of Cambridge and the Countess of Wessex as well as Queen Maxima and Queen Letizia.
6. Royal Visit New Zealand
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall have visited New Zealand several times and it always remains one of my favorite tour destinations for the Royals. The Duchess made time during the tour to highlight two really incredible organizations serving people in New Zealand. The first is run by Salvation Army NZ and helps older people gain skills and confidence in cooking for themselves or their partners. Camilla cooked with some of the people that Senior Chef helps and it was so lovely to see their excitement to learn new skills, even at older ages.
The Duchess of Cornwall also announced the Queens Commonwealth Essay Competition subject for 2020 while in Christchurch. The subject will be Climate Action in the Commonwealth which seems to be on theme with the environmental work much of the Royals are turning towards. Camilla has always championed literacy and the Commonwealth Essay Competition is an amazing annual event that highlights the importance of literacy and education.
5. Duchess of Cornwall at tea during U.S. State Visit
During the U.S. State visit the Prince of Wales, as the next monarch, hosted Donald Trump for tea at Clarence House. As is common with events like this, there was a photo opportunity where the Duchess of Cornwall was caught winking at some of the media as they left the room. This moment was absolutely hilarious for several reasons and obviously had to make the list. First, the chance that Camilla was 'shading' Donald and Melania is slight given her status in the Royal Family and that she understands her role needs to be unbiased. However, the worlds media ran with this wink and what it could mean and every article on it was hilarious.
There are few things more entertaining than when the media needs to write more stories so they take small moments and create huge headlines out of them. Unfortunately, this happens to the Royal Family a lot because of their position globally but during moments like this, it was very entertaining.
4. The Duchy of Cornwall Documentary
While the documentary focused much more heavily on the Prince of Wales work with the Duchy and the vision he has for it, the Duchess of Cornwall appeared briefly singing her husbands praises. While the work that the Duchy does is invaluable and incredibly important, the highlight of the two part documentary was hearing how proud Camilla is of her husband and the work he does.
The Duchy of Cornwall has been a project the Prince of Wales has overseen for fifty years and it will one day be passed onto his son, Prince William. The Duchess of Cornwall explained that Prince Charles cares so deeply about the Duchy and choosing to invest in areas that put sustainability as a main focus. I absolutely loved it and loved seeing the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall's dynamic in more relaxed settings.
3. Christmas at Clarence House
Maybe it's just because I love a holiday themed engagement but the Christmas party that the Duchess of Cornwall hosted for kids with the Roald Dahl Fund and Helen & Douglas House was one of the best moments for me this year. The children were able to decorate a tree at Clarence House and they enjoyed a holiday feast. They also brought reindeer for the children to meet which was so special.
Children with life limiting conditions like the ones that Roald Dahl Fund and Helen & Douglas House support were given a chance at activities that are mindful of what they can achieve and partake in. It also highlighted two incredibly important organizations that help children across the U.K. which made it extra special.
2. D-Day 75th Anniversary
The Duchess of Cornwall joined her husband to mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day at several events over the summer. The anniversary brought together world leaders from several countries and Camilla did a wonderful job paying tribute to those who lost their lives and honoring those who served. As the wife of the future King it's always a treat to see her representing the United Kingdom with Allies and Commonwealth nations. With the Queen slowing her schedule down as she approaches her mid-90's the Duchess of Cornwall will be representing the U.K. more often.
1. Week in Wales
This year marked the 50th anniversary of the Prince Charles investiture as Prince of Wales and the couple spent a week in the country highlighting charities and organizations as well as celebrating Welsh culture, language, music and traditions.
The week in Wales became much more meaningful to me after finishing series 3 of The Crown. Following the episode where the investiture is depicted, the work they have done and continue to do in Wales has much more significance. Prince Charles Investiture as Prince of Wales occurred nearly 30 years before I was born, and the proper context around the title and the history of the title was something I knew very little about. In the past few weeks as I've learned more about Welsh history and looking back on what the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall have done in Wales has made this week my hands down favorite of the year.
Leave a comment below with your favorite moments from the Duchess of Cornwall in 2019!