Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall speaks out about building future where sex crimes are not tolerated

In the second post of the day (go here for Prince Nicolas’ Christening photos), Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall has penned a letter for the Daily Mail in which she discusses her visits with rape survivors, her washbag initiative, and calls for a future where rape and sexual abuse are not tolerated.

I’m going to go ahead and quote all of Camilla’s piece because I think it’s worth the read. Rebecca English wrote a nice opening portion to the article which you can read here. Camilla wrote:

    “Over the past five years, I have visited many centres for victims of rape, here and overseas, which offer survivors a safe haven and a different future. I have spoken to many of them, whose bravery in speaking out and sharing their stories was truly humbling. This is, both for the speaker and the listener, a harrowing experience.
    “Rape and sexual abuse: these are words that make most of us feel uncomfortable. Until recently, they were issues which were not really discussed but now, I hope, there is a change in the air.
    “This challenging subject has been brought to the fore in recent years with some shocking news stories; these last for a few weeks, but for those who have been the victims of rape and sexual abuse, the traumatic effects can be long-lasting, not to say life-long. They leave their indelible mark.
    “I have seen for myself some of the remarkable work being done by the representatives of rape crisis organisations, the NHS and the police across the country. During these visits I have been very impressed by the professionalism and commitment of the individuals who provide a life-line to the women, children and men who have been left traumatized and often made to feel worthless through no fault of their own.
    “There are no easy answers and no quick fixes, but that should not stop us thinking of small ways to help. One project (piloted at the three Havens centres in London) which I think has helped provides survivors with a wash-bag filled with some special products. It can’t change what happened, but it is a gesture which I hope shows a little thoughtful care to sufferers of abuse at a very fragile time. It is not for me to discuss the underlying problems which may cause sexual violence and abuse, but I have glimpsed some of the appalling aftermath.
    “The statistics remain truly horrifying. There are, however, more centres now where comfort and help to recover can be found.
    “I will continue my work in the hope that it will help to shine a light on the violence hiding in the dark corners of our society. I have said it before and will say it again: we must try to build a future where we will simply not tolerate rape and sexual abuse any longer.”

[Daily Mail]

This is not the first time Camilla has spoken out about ending sexual violence. She spoke to the Daily Mail last November while in Colombia about the issue of ending sexual violence against women. I truly commend Camilla for not only tackling this issue but actually being vocal about it. This is not a fluffy issue, this is not a “safe” issue. This is a gritty issue that not everyone wants to talk about. But it is such an important issue. This was a really excellent letter – it was personable, it spoke on the issue but kept it hopeful, and ended with a call to action. I’m so glad Camilla has spoken out like.

In other Camilla news, Cam was out and about last night (October 13) at the Man Booker Prize winners reception at the Guildhall where she presented the 2015 Fiction winner with his award.

The winner was Marlon James for A Brief History of Seven Killings. James is the first Jamaican winner. His novel was inspired by an attempt to kill Bob Marley in 1976, telling the story of a gang of cocaine-fueled ghetto kids armed with automatic weapons who tried but failed to kill Marley in the Jamaican capital Kingston before he gave a peace concert.

I’m going to mention fashion for a moment because I love this dress and apparently Camilla does, too. She wore this red dress with black lace overlay and three quarter sleeves four different times last year. Cam even wore this same red pashmina on two of those four outings last year. Cam spiced things up for this outing with some gorgeous diamond earrings and a bracelet.

Along with Camilla’s commitment to ending sexual violence, and her commitment to literacy, another thing I love about Camilla is that she always gives the photographers a good shot. She always poses with a smile and let’s the photographers get their shot unlike pretty much every other British royal (except maybe Sophie).

Camilla has been away for a while. She had her summer holiday and then a bout with gastroenteritis, but the Man Booker Prize appearance and the letter calling for an end to sexual violence is a great way to come back.

Photos: Getty

24 Comments on Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall speaks out about building future where sex crimes are not tolerated

  1. rhiannon
    October 14, 2015 at 6:21 am (1 year ago)

    I am a Camilla convert. She is wonderful for writing that piece. This is a woman who will continue to bring awareness for her cause. She’s done her work and continues to be an advocate.

    Cam is also a wonderful advocate of reading. She’said always front and center about her love of reading and it’s importance. As we tread into the 21st century, it’s important to champion reading and literacy in a world that is moving to tech.

    Kate can learn so.much from Cam.

    I am totally fan girling right now. She’s been to heck and back with the press. She realizes that they have a job to do and gives them what they want. In return, they respect her and like her. She seems so grounded. I want to have a drink with her and just hear her perspective on so many things.

    The dress. Oh man, this is what fashion is about. Wear what you love and what makes you feel good. She l so thinks of the details too.

    Thank you, KMR, for highlighting this important issue and the Duchess who wants it to remain in the forefront.

    • Lauri from Ca
      October 14, 2015 at 11:12 am (1 year ago)

      Well Rhiannon when you marry Harry Camilla will be your step mother-in-law and you two can have drinks every Sunday afternoon. I too would love to sit down with her and hear what she has to say on the royal family, her causes and her hopes/fears for the future. I think she will make an excellent Queen Consort!

    • bluhare
      October 14, 2015 at 4:19 pm (1 year ago)

      I agree totally. The rape initiative is one that really does her proud, I think. Who would have thought such a simple thing could make such an impact.

    • katemiddletonreview
      October 15, 2015 at 9:28 am (1 year ago)

      In a world that is moving to tech where children are using dumb internet language and text-speak instead of actual words. Literacy is hugely important so I love that Camilla really champions that cause.

  2. Lisa
    October 14, 2015 at 8:49 am (1 year ago)

    I am a huge fan of Camilla. She came into an awkward situation and proved that she wasn’t a walking joke. She works her backside off and she brings some very needed light to some strong subjects that need to be talked about.

    If her step daughter-in-law had any sense in her head she’d be using Camilla as an example and try to emulate her. She’s not shirking from duty and sitting parked at home watching Downton Abbey.

    She always looks good when she has a pashmina or scarf on. And she rocks the jewels!!

    • katemiddletonreview
      October 15, 2015 at 9:31 am (1 year ago)

      Camilla really does rock the big jewelry so well. And due to her actually speaking about the causes she supports, I have become a huge fan of Camilla as well. I always like covering her. She supports a lot of causes I agree with.

  3. Ray
    October 14, 2015 at 10:05 am (1 year ago)

    Camilla looks and acts like a woman who’s husband will be king. She’s orbiting in the same stratosphere as Maxima and Victoria. I think she’s the full package; Charles and family are lucky to have her!

    • mary elizabeth
      October 15, 2015 at 7:27 pm (1 year ago)

      Oh, Ray, Oh, Lauri from CA. just love your comments. So true!

  4. Lauri from Ca
    October 14, 2015 at 10:19 am (1 year ago)

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it’s a strange world when I respect Charles’ “other woman” so much more than “William’s wife”. She really nailed it with this article, proving that royals don’t have to have first hand knowledge or personal experience to connect to a cause and work hard to make a difference. Like Diana did with AIDS, Camilla is taking on a subject that is emotional and difficult for many to talk about and is taking it on with compassion, empathy, style and grace.

    I have to say that I love Camilla in red, it really compliments her complexion and make her seem to shine just a bit more. When I first say the photos yesterday on the DM I was stunned at how good she looked, her complexion is radiant and I want to know what products she’s using:)

    • Gie
      October 14, 2015 at 1:13 pm (1 year ago)

      So great Lauri from Ca, agree with so much of what you’ve said.

      She has said that she won’t sit for an interview but in the past has given access to her friends and family. Having read the back story to her relationship with Charles and first marriage my view changed on her. That and the work makes me root for her. (Link to the article http://www.vanityfair.com/style/2001/10/a-court-of-his-own-200110 )

      She’s really thrown herself into being a good public figure, which a royal is. There’s the private side to the role, the family and the behind the scenes protocol and inner workings of The Firm and then the public. Whilst having grown up with and around the royals meant the private side of being a royal was seamless she was never exposed to the public figure side of being a royal. I’ve read that once she became a royal she would go to editors to find out how they compile stories and what they want and need and that’s why her engagements started, and continue, getting coverage more than most of the older generation of royals.

      • katemiddletonreview
        October 15, 2015 at 9:35 am (1 year ago)

        I believe she said she won’t sit for an interview because she doesn’t want to distract from Charles. But I would love to hear and interview from her. But writing pieces like this is a good alternative.

    • katemiddletonreview
      October 15, 2015 at 9:34 am (1 year ago)

      I know, right. I used to dislike Camilla due to the whole Diana thing but she really has turned it around for me. Whereas Kate got a pass from me for being William’s wife and she has turned that around too but in a negative way.

  5. Patricia
    October 14, 2015 at 2:57 pm (1 year ago)

    Oh Camilla in red! Just lovely! She does such good work and that piece she wrote is inspiring. I feel that although Camilla had a messy background with the whole “other woman” thing I feel she’s rising above her younger self and becoming a better person now. Good for her!

    • katemiddletonreview
      October 15, 2015 at 9:33 am (1 year ago)

      Camilla definitely doesn’t let her past hinder her. And she doesn’t shirk her duties just because she suffered negative press (for years and much more negative than anything Kate has gotten). Cam just gets on with it.

  6. Lauri from Ca
    October 14, 2015 at 3:47 pm (1 year ago)

    So I just saw that W&K have an engagement on the 21st with the President of China and his wife so I bet that they won’t be attending the state dinner.

    The way KP is handling this reminds me of the gala at KP where Wills sang with Taylor Swift. Before hand everyone was in a tizzy about Kate attending, what she would wear, etc but when it was clear that she wasn’t attending and everyone got pissed, KP started with the whole “What???, we never said she’d be there, she was never scheduled to attend” basically made all the bloggers and Kate fans look stupid. KP will not confirm or deny that W&K will attend and then make it the fault of others when the public gets upset. Way to go Jason.

    • katemiddletonreview
      October 15, 2015 at 9:39 am (1 year ago)

      Who knows. William is also calling on the Prez at BP on the 20th. BP never announces in advance who will be at the State Banquet so it’s still possible they will attend. Charles and Camilla are doing the official welcome but aren’t thought to be doing the Banquet. We’ll just have to wait and see.

      And if Kate doesn’t attend, this to me sounds more like the Calvin Klein thing at Windsor in 2014. Where all the press thought Kate would attend with William, then she didn’t and KP was like “She was never scheduled to attend” and the press got pissed.

      • Lauri from Ca
        October 15, 2015 at 7:37 pm (1 year ago)

        Maybe that was the event I was thinking of. After George was born right? Yeah, I remember that all the bloggers and fans were super excited and then pretty pissed when she didn’t show. I have to say I blame that on their press chief and if it goes that way again I’ll blame Jason, because really how hard is to say, Sorry she won’t be there? We know her staff read the blogs, so they know what is being written and hoped for. But it wouldn’t be the first time they wound people up, watched them spin out of control and then plead ignorance.

        • katemiddletonreview
          October 15, 2015 at 9:59 pm (1 year ago)

          It was last year after the tour. In May. Everyone thought she would go and then she didn’t and the press were going to KP to ask about what happened and why she didn’t attend, and KP was like “She was never scheduled to be there”. There were many articles about her non-appearance with the lamest excuses. I covered it here, too: http://katemiddletonreview.com/2014/05/14/prince-william-attends-dinnergala-for-royal-marsden-but-it-turns-into-a-fashion-event-with-lame-excuses-for-kates-absence/

          • Herazeus
            October 17, 2015 at 3:01 pm (1 year ago)

            Kate cancelling at the last minute, forcing the Palace to pretend she was never expected, is actually her MO.

            The Taylor Swift charity thing was especially annoying because the invitations went out with her name on it, weeks, if not a full 2mths ahead of time. She cancelled the day of it, and the palace force the charity to grovel and say they had jumped the gun and she was never expected.

            She did the same thing with the Ralph Lauren event at Windsor.

            She did the same thing with the Malta visit – though she used her pregnancy as the excuse, nevermind that she was a full 2mths- 10wks pregnant before she cancelled and a tour is a year in the planning.

            There is an article floating around written in 2008 about her general flakiness with regards work and charity, inability to commit, return phone calls or invitations or promising, but never following through or committing and cancelling at the last minute without giving a reason.

            And as recently as a few months ago (or possibly last month), in one of those articles that called her a prickly princess, it was mentioned how much she preferred to keep others waiting even if plans had to be made ahead of time – a complete lack of consideration for others essentially.

          • Lisa
            October 17, 2015 at 3:41 pm (1 year ago)

            The Taylor Swift/Bon Jovi singalong was even at KP. It’s not like she had to travel for any amount of time to get there. I wonder what reasons she gives for not going, other than the child/children.

          • Herazeus
            October 18, 2015 at 6:05 pm (1 year ago)

            Lydia: i think she’s worse with the cancellations since she had the children because that’s an easy inbuilt excuse that immediately short changes everyone. if you object to the children excuses as the reason for cancellations, you are immediately in the wrong and unfeeling.

            There used to be a blog called E24 in the early years of her marriage, before the children, that regularly predicted that the children would be her excuse to refuse/cancel anything she didn’t want to do. And that was a time she was barely working whilst ‘new royal wife’ excuses were being bandied about.

  7. mary elizabeth
    October 15, 2015 at 7:26 pm (1 year ago)

    I am a Camilla fan, too. I am so very impressed by what she wrote and her staunch commitment to this subject, which needs to have such an important light shined upon it. Her work, her dedication will prove to make a major difference, I am sure. I wish I could give Camilla a round of applause and let her know that this issue and her support for literacy are making a resounding impact in her home country and here “across the pond.”

    She is the real deal. A strong and dedicated woman who will use her position in life in a truly magnificent way.

    Loved her in red. She was just radiant. Camilla, pardon my American slang, but you rock!!

  8. G.
    October 16, 2015 at 10:57 am (1 year ago)

    I am not a huge Camilla fan for a few reasons, but people deserve credit where it is due. For several reasons I do feel Camilla does things completely right and this is one of those areas. Good for her.

    At her age, with grandchildren she loves to spend time with, a busy husband, her own royal schedule, spine problems… No wonder she doesn’t have much in common with Kate. At least Camilla puts in some effort despite her own issues.

  9. dutchroyal
    October 18, 2015 at 10:27 pm (1 year ago)

    Thanks for writing this. So impressed that she actually tackled a real issue. Thank you Camilla!