Camilla gives speech at 500 Words Final, attends Garden Party with Sophie

Camilla gives speech at 500 Words Final, attends Garden Party with Sophie

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall attended the 500 Words Final last week where she gave a speech about why stories are so magical. Today, Camilla hosted a Buckingham Palace Garden Party for the Women’s Institute, also attended by Sophie, Countess of Wessex.

[Sofia Zambuto (the 5-9 category winner), Camilla and Kenneth Branagh]

On Friday, May 29, Camilla attended the final of BBC Radio’s 5th annual 500 Words creative writing competition (which she helped launch back in January) at St James’s Palace. The competition challenges children 13 and under to write an original work of fiction using no more than 500 words (as an aside, I’ve actually done one of these “500 words” competitions; it’s fun – I didn’t win, even though my horror story was awesome). Celebrity narrators read the gold, silver and bronze winning entries in each age category (5-9; 10-13). The celebrities included Sir Kenneth Branagh, Jeremy Irons, and Eleanor Tomlinson. There was a prize-giving ceremony with a reception after.

[Jeremy Irons, Amabel Smith (the 10-13 category winner), and Camilla]

Camilla gave a speech in which she said in part:

    “Like climbing through the Wardrobe into Narnia, stories open doors into different worlds. They stretch our imagination and get our brains buzzing. We fall in love with heroes and heroines and can’t turn the pages fast enough to find out what happens. We meet impossible people, travel to remote places and make hundreds of new friends. We look around with new eyes and recognise Horrid Henry next-door and Professor Snape the Chemistry Teacher in the school down the road.
    “Whether exotic or every-day, heart-warming or heart-stopping, stories help us to understand our world and the people in it. We can all see the differences in our points of view and backgrounds, but the best stories – just like those old tales – show us what we all have in common, what we all share.
    “It’s no wonder that, once we have opened that door, we want to tell other people what they’re missing. Right back to prehistoric families sitting spellbound around the smoking fire, all the way to the technological interactive miracles of Radio 2, people still love a good story.”

[Prince of Wales website]

Camilla wore a navy polka dot dress and her pearl earrings she wears all the time. I really like her dress. I love polka dots in general, but they were an excellent choice for a children’s event.

[Camilla and Eleanor Tomlinson]

Camilla meets WI girls at garden party

Today, June 2, Camilla hosted the Women’s Institute (WI) 100th anniversary Garden Party at Buckingham Palace. Sophie, Countess of Wessex was also in attendance, as was Princess Anne. The WI was formed in 1915 to revitalize rural communities and encourage women to help produce food during World War I, and is now the largest voluntary women’s organization in the UK. The Queen is President of the Sandringham WI (member since 1943), Camilla is a member of the Tetbury WI (since 2006), Sophie is a member of the Bagshot WI (since 2007), and Anne is an associate member of her local WI.

Sophie at WI garden party 2

In “Kate news I never covered”, the president of Anmer WI sent Duchess Kate a letter before Christmas inviting her to join, and Rebecca Deacon sent back a letter saying Kate was interested. Who knows what will happen with that, but if Kate joins she will be one of the youngest, if not the youngest, members. Link: Hello.

[That’s Princess Alexandra behind Camilla]

Camilla wore a navy coat and the polka dot dress from the 500 Words event, her pearl choker with diamond clasp, and her diamond and sapphire butterfly brooch.

Sophie wore a black jacket and black and white horse print dress from Emilia Wickstead AW12 collection, a hat by Jane Taylor, and a new brooch. I’ve noticed that Sophie wears a lot of black. I wish she’d wear more bright colors.

Sophie at WI garden party

Camilla at WI garden party 3


chocolate cake at WI garden party

Camilla livery reception 1

On Wednesday, May 27, after attending the State Opening of Parliament in the morning, Camilla attended a reception given by the Worshipful Company of Plaisterers at Plaisterers’ Hall in London. Camilla was made an Honorary Liveryman in April 2014.

While at the reception, Camilla received a new brooch that I’ll call the Worshipful Company of Plaisterers Livery Badge. The badge was designed by 19 year old Joshua Gane after he won a competition sponsored by the Worshipful Company of Plaisterers. The badge’s design is inspired by Plaisterers’ Hall’s plasterwork incorporating patterns and floral motifs, with the Company’s coat of arms at the center. The badge includes silver, silver gilt, opaque blue and white enamel, and diamond and blue sapphires. The badge can be worn as a brooch or a pendant.

Link: The Goldsmith’s Company.

Camilla livery reception 3

Worshipful Company of Plaisterers Livery Badge

Photos: Getty / Clarence House @ClarenceHouse / British Monarchy @BritishMonarchy / Women’s Institute @WomensInstitute

34 thoughts on “Camilla gives speech at 500 Words Final, attends Garden Party with Sophie

  1. Yum, that cake looks good.
    I like Camilla. She seems like someone you could have a good and down to earth conversation with. Also like her wardrobe, especially her fantastic hats. And her navy polka dot dress looked great on her. Wish Kate would dress with some style and panache like Camilla. With all those designers at her fingertips you’d think she could figure it out. Diana learned at the hands of Vogue. Kate should do the same. And I agree with you KMR that Sophie should mix it up more often with color.
    I like how both Camilla and Sophie always seem to be so engaged in all that they do. Good patrons to have unlike the knuckle-headed one.

    1. I too like Camilla because she seems like someone I would want to have a conversation with. I also like her brooches. Her brooch collection is not as vast as HM’s, but she has some pretty pieces.

  2. Right?? I can’t believe I’m jumping on the Camilla train! She seems like a genuinely nice person (aside from the whole cheating with Charles thing, but it takes two hands to clap, so it’s not completely her fault) who really cares about women and kids. Those are the only charities for which I remember her attending/organizing events. I really liked her speech at the 500 words competition. Whoever wrote it is a really gifted speech-writer. I wish I could have heard her deliver the speech. I bet she speaks well, unlike our favorite person.

    1. My sentiments exactly, lazykins, well said. And I’ve been on “the Camilla train” for a while now, and glad I hopped aboard. She’s really great, and after the talk of backbones, I’d say hers is reinforced iron …someone could take lessons…

        1. It’s actually amazing. Cam must have nerves of steel to deal with all the hate she received and still come out of it smiling, engaging, and able to work hard for the monarchy.

    2. Haha lazykins, I really liked your two hands to clap comment :-). And I never used to much like Camilla either. But she really does come across as genuine and likable. And Kate could definitely learn loads from her where public work and speaking is involved.
      On a different note, has anyone heard anything about Ma Middleton? Is she now permanently planted at Anmer?

    3. Lazykins, you are so right. “It takes two hands to clap.” I love that!
      I’m with you in the way that I really am liking Camilla more and more. And, this from
      a devoted fan of the late Diana!

      She does seem to have a soft spot in her heart for the written word. I remember reading on this blog a while back that she said she got her love of reading from her father. And, how important that she sees how wonderful these writing contests are for children. Her speech was really touching and said what everyone who loves reading and writing wants to hear. Bravo, Camilla!

      I think she always looks like a real lady, too. The polka dot dress was lovely. And, she wasn’t even presenting her newborn to the public outside a hospital!

      Her jewels and hats are smashing, too. Sophie always looks divine, as well. Although, yes, I would like to see her wear more colors, too. She was fantastic in that green dress a while back!

      These ladies really put Kate to shame. I’m coming to realize that for Kate these appearances must be very difficult. She needs to watch those who do them well very carefully and learn from them. Maybe, she was sold a bill of goods by PW prior to the marriage. “Oh, no, you won’t have to do many public appearances.” Still, she had to know on some level what would be expected of her.

      Camilla has come to embrace her role beautifully and it shows. Sophie, too.
      The Royals are lucky to have them out there working!

      1. Re Kate: I do think Kate was sold a particular bit of goods by William, and she was shocked when she was expected to work hard. I think Will told her she wouldn’t have to deal with it since he was going to protect her in a way that the monarchy did not protect his mother. It’s possible Will’s own seeming contempt for the monarchy and tradition is because he feels like the monarchy is the bad guy because they failed his mother.

        Re Cam: Yes, she did say, back in Feb I want to say, that it was her father who instilled a love of reading in her.

  3. I feel as if I’m cheating on Diana but I have started admiring Camilla! Never thought I would! May be her step daughter in law can learn a few from her.

      1. I so agree, Lauri. I think Camilla’s always carried herself with dignity in public. However, I always thought that she was never quite the ogre she was made out to be, although everyone in that triangle showed an appalling lack of judgment from time to time.

        What got me really in her corner was her rape kit initiative. Such a simple thing — providing a toiletry kit for women to use when they shower after being raped — but symbolically so important.

        1. I liked the toiletry kit idea, but what really got me was when she talked about ending sexual violence against women during her visit to Colombia.

      2. Crazy, right. Four years ago I never would have predicted that people would like Charles’ mistress-turned-wife better than the wife of Diana’s Golden Boy first born son.

    1. I know, it’s crazy that so many people have started to like Camilla. I never thought I would, but she really changed my mind about her.

        1. I know there is that theory that Charles is preventing Kate from working hard because he’s afraid of another Diana situation, but I think Kate sidelined herself. She refuses to give speeches, and when she does they are meaningless. She acts inappropriately and never seems interested in the people she is talking to. Even if Charles said she could only do so many engagements a year, she still could have been awesome that those few appearances she did. But she decided not to. That was her decision. And it’s been said that Kate and William and Harry make their own schedules, so there’s that.

  4. Yes, I’m getting very fond of Camilla, too. As Lazykins said, I never thought I would and like Michelle, I feel as if I am cheating on Diana. Still, Camilla is spot on whenever she’s out and about meeting the public. I loved her speech. It knocked the point straight out of the park.

    Yes, stories are so important. I love giving children a chance to get involved in writing. I teach a writing workshop every summer for kids who are transitioning between 2nd and 3 grades. It’s so much fun and the children are so very creative.

    KMR, if you still have your entry, a horror story, no less — we’d love to read it!

    1. That’s sweet that you guys are interested in reading my story. I’ll post it maybe after the wedding.

  5. I used to be 100% Diana. I still am and am also 100% Camilla. She seems very kind and down to earth. I love that she’s not afraid to poke fun at herself. She’s worked so hard over the years. I think that she dresses well. I love her taste in jewels. And she can rock a tiara like no one’s business. She also seems to be a better match for Charles.

    Sophie is very grand, but in the best way. I remember a few years ago a young girl asked what she kept in her purse. She actually opened it up and let her look through it. If Katie Knucklehead can’t learn from these women, then she’s a lost cause.

    1. I think it’s interesting that Camilla has turned people who were full stop Diana people into Camilla people (and that they can love Diana while liking Camilla as well). It really is to her credit that she has been able to convince people – not threw direct words, but through work and being invested in her charities, and giving intelligent speeches on her subjects – that she is worth liking. I think it has helped that Kate is such a disappointment to a lot of people, but still. Camilla deserves credit for that.

      Lol, I remember when Sophie opened her purse for that kid. That was nice.

      1. Yes, it is interesting that Camilla has won over so many Diana people, helping them realize they can have a soft spot in their hearts for both women!

        I agree that Camilla is a better choice for Charles than Diana was. Diana, unlike Kate, though, knew how to win people over by her sincere desire to help others. She was a dynamo when it came to championing her causes. There’s still time for Kate to do that. Just wonder if she will.

        1. Kate could turn her image around through hard work. Her image is not completely unsalvageable. But I question if she would ever do that and, if she decided to, when she would actually get around to it. I’ve seen so many people defend her by saying she will work hard once she’s Princess of Wales, but I question whether she will. By the time that happens she’ll have had, let’s say, 10+ years of lazy Duchess-ing and won’t be properly equipped to handle going from her measly 75 engagements a year to 300+. That would be a total shock for her and she would not be able to handle it, IMO.

  6. I miss Kate!!! Sorry but I really miss talking about her…it’s weird. She can’t do a thing right, yet I still find her interesting!!

    1. Not going to lie, I kind of miss commenting on Kate, too. She doesn’t do much, and she never says anything, never gives speeches, and her style usually misses the mark for me, but it’s fun to talk about her. Don’t get me wrong, I love talking about the other royals as well, but Kate is fun, too.

  7. Yep crazymag, kate has brainwashed everyone into thinking theres nothing better beyond her,messy life, laziness, bad fashion choices, no speeches etc.really if she interacted more with other royal women and especially her european counterparts you will see, see does not fit her role at all!!

    1. Ugh, you are so right Adam, I remember when she and William attended a memorial in Belgium, they looked and acted like two children, so unsure of themselves, beside Mathilde, it was almost painful to watch.

  8. KMR/Adam, I think what both of you said is what I miss. Most of the RF seems to have it together (at least their public persona), but Kate, well she is a “hot mess.” A hot mess is way more interesting!!! Add PW and Carole you have the makings of a hot mess on steroids… I love it!!! I can only take so much of the perfect Royal Engagements by Charles, Camilla and HM. I hope I don’t sound weird or sick, but Kate’s imperfections make her the jewel of the RF…. good or bad, when KMR writes about Kate, we all want to chime in with our thoughts and opinions! So, yes I miss Kate and can’t wait for her return.

    1. Completely understandable, AMG. As much as I love talking about how awesome people are, and getting to excerpt actual quotes or speeches that are meaningful, it is fun to talk about Kate’s “hot mess”-ness. It’s a bit like Kim K, I don’t like her and don’t give any shits about her life, but it is funny to see what tragic outfit she’s squeezed herself in to – I don’t go seeking her out but when she pops up on E News or Celebitchy I’ll take a quick look at her terrible outfit. Both Kate and the royals who have it together are fun to talk about for different reasons. There is nothing wrong, IMO, for thinking that.

  9. Camilla and Sophie are two of my favorite royals in the BRF. Absolutely love Camilla’s Harry at the garden party. Sophie could use some more color, but I think she switches pieces out with each other more in the black shades.

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