Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall in Bristol: dancing, chocolate & domestic abuse

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall in Bristol: dancing, chocolate & domestic abuse

Kate Middleton, Princess Madeleine, and Princess Charlene were not the only royals out and about on Valentine’s Day. Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall did several engagements in Bristol – visiting a tea party held by the Royal Voluntary Service, meeting staff and survivors of domestic abuse at Women’s Aid, and meeting members of the public along the city’s North Street.

Camilla began her day at The Trinity Centre where she attended a vintage-inspired tea party held by the Royal Voluntary Service (RVS) – the RVS is a volunteer organisation which helps older people stay active, independent, and able to continue to contribute to society, by providing practical and emotional help.

Camilla, as president of Royal Voluntary Service, met with volunteers and older people who use the services to find out more about how the charity helps older people to stay physically active and connected to their local communities.

She then watched a swing dance demonstration before joining in herself. She took to the dance floor with royal photographer Arthur Edwards, before they were interrupted by other men.

Here’s a video of Camilla dancing. I adore the fact that Camilla got up and danced with people.

Following her visit to Trinity Centre, Camilla visited Women’s Aid – which is a charity working to end domestic abuse against women and children – to meet with domestic abuse survivors and members of staff.

Camilla heard stories from survivors, as well as heard about various projects Women’s Aid is working on including ‘Child First’ (which aims to ensure children are put at the heart of family court decisions) and ‘No Woman Turned Away’ (which works with women who have not been able to find space in a refuge).

Camilla met Women’s Aid Ambassador Mandy Thomas, a ‘real life’ Helen Titchener who advised BBC Radio 4’s The Archers on their recent award-winning domestic abuse storyline. Camilla talked about how The Archers’ storyline was so vital to bringing the idea of domestic abuse out into the open, saying:

    “The advice you gave to The Archers has been so brilliant because people who have never heard about it before, people who didn’t understand about coercive control, now understand about it, they became gripped. They had no idea, I’m probably guilty of that too, a lot of us had no idea of quite how terrible that situation was and how easily people were taken in. You know, along comes the charming man who’s polite and nice to everybody else, so they all see his good side, and they don’t see this other dark side, but I think you’ve brought it, you have brought it out in the open and people are talking about it now.”

[my own transcription from the video below]

It was very poignant that Camilla visited Women’s Aid on Valentine’s Day. Polly Neate, Chief Executive of Women’s Aid, said of the visit:

    “Women’s Aid is honoured to have welcomed The Duchess of Cornwall today, to celebrate our work, our teams on the frontline, and the courageous survivors at the heart of the organisation. It is a true privilege for us all. Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate love. But, it is not a happy time for everyone. For women living with domestic abuse, Valentine’s Day can provide no light relief. So, we are especially grateful that The Duchess of Cornwall is championing our work on this significant day, and sending out the powerful message that domestic abuse does not stop on Valentine’s Day.”

[women’s aid]

Camilla Women's Aid Feb 2017 s
[Clarence House @ClarenceHouse]

After leaving Women’s Aid, Camilla met members of the public and shopkeepers during a walk down North Street in Bristol’s Southville. Camilla visited Ivory Flowers, Rare Meat Butchers, Southville Deli, and Zara’s Chocolates.

While at Zara’s Chocolates, Camilla watched as chocolatier Zara Narracott made a batch of salted pralines, before trying some of the mixture. I swear, my favorite photos of royals are when they are tasting food. Looking at photos of this chocolate is making me want chocolate.

48 thoughts on “Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall in Bristol: dancing, chocolate & domestic abuse

      1. I am impressed with Camilla. Not only is she not afraid to talk about domestic abuse which is still a taboo subject in society but dancing and getting everyone else involved. I liked seeing Arthur Edwards and Camilla dancing. They dance well together. That photo of Camila tasting chocolate, makes me want to have some chocolate. There is no hesitation there. It is interesting that because I think Camilla listens to The Archers. That storyline was horrific. Can women be charming but have a dark side too?

        1. “Can women be charming but have a dark side too?”

          Absolutely. While we mostly hear about domestic abuse from men to women, women can be domestic abusers, too. In all forms. For instance, my mother was outwardly nice and polite to everyone, but at home she was an abusive alcoholic. Women can most certainly be abusers, but it is even less likely that men will report domestic abuse from a female partner because of the stigma attached.

          1. I don’t think I can put into words how awful that must have been for you KMR.
            My sister in law or nearly ex sister in law is like that. She tried to attack me and I worry night and day for my nieces.

          2. KMR, I’m sorry that we share the alcoholic mothers. Everyone loved my mom and couldn’t understand why I hated her. She was emotionally and verbally abusive, and mostly physically absent due to her alcoholism. She would go to work, but even that started to slip and eventually she had to retire or else she’d be fired and lose her pension. I’m almost 34 and she’s been drinking for 40 years, only cutting back long enough to have my sister and me (9 years apart).

            Her various partners never spoke up and likely never will. A man admitting to being abused is equated to emasculation and we can’t have that in our society *eyeroll*. Women can be just as bad as men but until we squash the stigma and start changing minds through action, nothing will change. Women get away with murder because no man who considers himself “a real man” would put himself in the position for such ridicule. It’s ridiculous and totally unfair to the men who are living in female-to-male abuse situations.

          3. My mom was abusive so I totally agree with what you said. You wouldn’t think it looking at her but sadly it was the case. Great post! Go camilla?

          4. I wonde, is it too much to ask Heads Together to tackle the dangerous notions and societal pressures around what it means to be a “real man” or a “real woman”? Or does this fall outside of their scope?
            To be honest, I’m still not sure what the Organisation does.

          5. I wish they would; that would be amazing. And societal pressures about standards like that does affect mental health. I’m sure they could link it to make suicide and make it work. It would be a fascinating topic for them to cover.

  1. Very nice outfit. Colourful yet tasteful, and completely appropriate. She has a friendly and genuine approach on her engagements.

  2. I am so glad she is interested and still focusing on the subject of Domestic Violence. Unfortunately it is a taboo that still prevails in our society.

    1. You’re right, few people want to talk about living in that type of hell. Worse is when they do, and people get uncomfortable with them “I’m really busy right now,” or pointedly don’t talk to them. It’s similar to what goes on with mental health–being trapped in a bubble, which is why the trio’s “just talk to someone” is so off base. Yes, you need to open up about it but even counselors, church members or pastors/priests, teachers, etc. can close their eyes and ears leaving a vulnerable person that’s struggling just to be brave and talk about the violence feeling more alone than ever.

      It’s interesting that Cam is doing this work and would probably be a decent mentor to the trio, yet they are in their own little world of inane advice. Left hand and right hand need to meet. Can’t see W/K/H taking any of her advice though.

      Cam looks great and engaged as always. I would have liked to have seen her dress (love polka dots!). At first I thought that was a cute scarf.

  3. I would love to read something about the royal family of Luxembourg if I may suggest. There are several things going on there.
    Camilla seems to be a natural royal, it must be hard with their past (Charles and Camilla).I have to say, I miss Diana. Nevertheless, Camilla gets the job done.

    1. You’re right lovely blossom, Camilla does look the natural royal now, that’s probably due to the same reason Kate is getting better – they’ve both been made to carry out engagement’s. Camilla hated doing them after her marriage and even refused to go on some tours with Charles. If Charles had of married Camilla back in the seventies when he had the chance, then they wouldn’t be in this position now. I too miss Diana, and I’m hoping that this year will do justice by her! I don’t know if you have seen the tributes Hello magazine are doing? Every issue this year they’re showing “Images of an Icon” & doing write ups about her.

      1. No, I haven’t seen the tributes in Hello Magazine(I’m no british citizen). We have similar magazines that will surely cover her. Nevertheless, thank you for the tip, Poppy! 🙂

    2. One of the things that impresses me most about Camilla is that rather than appearing to be on a mission to win over the hearts of the public, she just has quietly gone about DOING the things that organically allow that to happen. I grew up thinking of her as “the other woman,” a title that didn’t come with much in the way of the positive.

      But as she’s gone about dutifully serving with grace and compassion, time has been her friend. It hasn’t been a false “public image campaign,” but rather a genuine revealing of her character. She seems to have a real depth to her – one that she has quietly earned through the ups and downs of life – overcoming the negative by just proving that she’s steady.

      Correct me if I’m wrong. Just how I’ve come to feel about her in recent years.

      1. You’re right, Jenni,as I have said, it has do be hard with all the negative press (or public image). But I always wondered how Charles and Camilla deal with Diana’s death. I would feel incredibly guilty and would be much to ashamed to go back into public, not to speak to marry the one who was also involved! I think, in the end, there is no other way to cope with it than she does, calmly doing her work.

        1. I don’t think it’s fair to directly blame Diana’s death on either Charles or Camilla.
          Time has shown how all three parties were responsible for the the breakdown of that marriage, which may have placed Diana in the situation that lead to her death. No direct actions on the part of Charles or Camilla directly lead to her death – she was an adult, acting off her own volition and investigations ruled out foul play, concluding that her death was an accident.

          As for the shame that people project on to Charles and Camilla, I doubt that they’re entirely proud of their history and the way in which their actions affected their families. I can only imagine that they would, if given the chance, do things differently to spare their children and partners from the pain, and themselves from public ridicule.
          It’s also said that the mark of leaders is the ability to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles and forge ahead.
          Perhaps this resilience, diligent “head down bum up” attitude, ability to connect with people – the very strangers that know intimate details of your life – and ability to put work above all else is what the UK needs in leaders amid these changing times.

          1. Em, my words were meant in a different way. I didn’t want to say that Charles or Camilla should hide and be forever ashamed, I just wondered how they cope with it. I can just talk for myself and I would have a hard time. You can say it’s admirable to be able to not shrink away but carry on, so I think they both do a good job.Plus, they are not responsible for Diana’s death, I’m sorry if it sounded that way. That would be a terrible accusation. Charles and Diana were divorced at that time and they both went along their own paths. The whole turmoil was long before Diana’s death.

  4. That dancing video is so adorable! I love how Camilla encourage others to take the floor (I assume her hand gesture was to call others to join her on dance floor), how relaxed, and how engaged she was with her dancing partners. Thanks for the video, KMR!

  5. I love the RVS. I’ve volunteered for them since i was a teenager. Lots of fun. Lots of interesting people. If i were a royal bride, i’d wrestle this patronage from the Queen.

    Small correction: Camilla is our president. HM is our Patron.

    1. Would you like me to add that HM is Patron of RVS? Because I already wrote that Camilla is president.

  6. Just to add my admiration of Camilla knows no bounds. Apart from delivering my favourite Royal engagement of the year at CH for terminally and chronically ill little ones where she literally rolls up her sleeves, she was the one who came up with the fantastic idea of the post rape sponge bags so that victims could brush their teeth and get clean after the forensic examination had taken place. A small but enormously significant gesture.

    I have made no secret of my adoration of Diana but I have room in me to appreciate the differing talents of both these ladies. Camilla is warm, confident and fun. I could happily spend an evening with her and a bottle of wine having an absolute hoot. Diana was something altogether different to me, someone who I could only put on a pedestal and admire from afar. The beauty, the compassion, the sheer charisma of the Princess who was so rare her ilk only comes along once in a generation.

    Very different ladies, very different skill sets but both so appreciated by me.

  7. A lovely post that makes me smile. I like that Camilla doesn’t have a plastered on, stock ‘look of concern’. I imagine it is quite easy to be around her. It’s also remarkable how many events she did in a day and she was still standing. Frankly, I would love to have her job. She, happily, seems well suited to it.

    1. Maven, I agaree with you. Camilla looks genuinely concerned when listening to people. There is nothing artificial in her demeanor. I applaud her concerns regarding domestic violence and her support for those who have been hurt. She spoke from the heart and fessed up to how easy it can be to look at a charming person and find it difficult to believe that he/she is an abuser. Emotional and physical abuse can scar those who suffer for life, if not addressed.

      Thank you for this post. And, Camilla dancing, tasting the chocolate and flower shopping was nice to see!!

    2. It seems Camilla frequently makes a purchase at local shops on her royal visits. That’s a subtle promotion to “shop local,” which is great.

      She looked fantastic dancing with the men. She’s a natural.

      1. I think that is why Camilla is liked. Kate seems to put a lot of time and effort into trying to change herself to what others want her to be. It doesn’t always work. Because you are thinking now what to I do you forget to let go and have fun.

      2. Yes, it’s another gesture of support isn’t it, to purchase a little something. Camilla’s manner is natural, her concern is real and not manufactured for the cameras.

  8. What a great post! Camilla was a busy little bee on ?Day! I think I would need several spoons to taste the chocolate to make sure it was just right =)!! Love her flowers.
    the RVS seems like a great cause! I loved that she danced with several gentlemen

  9. Good morning everyone,
    It is great to see the Duchess supporting such a wonderful organization Women’s Aid as well as the other organizations. As some of you have already mentioned, a facial expression tells a thousand stories and I to think she is genuine in her concern at what she is hearing, no put on there.
    The shame factor as many have already said is so sad. Whether it be a man or woman, relative who is the abuser, what does it matter, it is not acceptable behavior and you do not have to put up with it.
    The experiences some of my fellow bloggers have mentioned must be a horrible thing to endure.
    FYI: Arthur Edwards has been around for many years now, it was nice to see him dancing with Camilla.
    He has published a few books and I am actually reading one now. Lovely photos and the stories behind them are terrific.

    1. Sophia…..Arthur’s on Twitter. He’s pretty chatty and friendly on all things Royal and West Ham Footballl. Discreet but he will talk generically. Xx

      1. Actually I think it would be a really good idea to share in a thread some of our and I don’t mean contacts but people we have touched base with re. Royalty. I have had some awesome conversations with Royal journalists, authors and Royal media commentators, photographers and historians who have shared really helpful information. Nothing salacious but a few weeks ago I wanted to know how a certain member of Royalty was styled and I got in touch on Twitter with someone I hugely admire on TV about all things Royal and he was delighted to help. There are also a couple of historians who I go to quite often for opinions on things. After all I can’t rely on Hera for everything! ((XX))

        If I had my time again I would go back to University and study History and become a Tudor historian. Actually my niece has just been offered a place at Trinity College Cambridge to read History I am so proud I could burst but sooooo envious too.

        1. Mrs BBV, if i had my time again, i would study history as well. Though my specialty would be the Plantagenets and The Georgians.

          I started out loving the Tudors, but as i learnt more about the other dynasties, my love for the Tudors fell away. I’d even pick the Stuarts over the Tudors.

          That said, i was looking forward to my recently purchased copy of Andrew Marr’s history of the world only to find that it covers every continent except Africa.

          Infact it’s so dismissive of Africa that i’m both extremely furious and wondering why Africa remains a mystery to the world and why the world’s historians think there is no African history worth telling beyond Egypt and the Atlantic Slave Trade.

          Perhaps that’s a gap in the market that needs to be filled.

          On a different note, a new article in the DM on Diana’s clothes for you.

          That Elvis dress is a classic. Even today.

          1. Thanks Hera. My Mum bought me the actual paper on Saturday, put it down on the dining room table and said ’20 years on and she still sells papers’. Then we spent half an hour pouring over all the pictures. She’d lost none of her magic. I’m sort of dreading but looking forward to all the articles we’ll get this year which sounds a bit sick really but she still holds such a fascination for me. Some of those dresses mainly ‘The Elvis’ have stood the test of time and fashion haven’t they? Xx

        2. Mrs BBV, My fav royal author is Dan Jones. I first read his book The Magna Carta: The Birth of Liberty and his book on the Plantagenets. I also read he’s working on some kind of program (think it’s a documentary) based on his Plantagenets book. He’s a fantastic writer.

  10. Camilla always looks like she is having fun, no weird contorted face necessary. And she appears regal and graceful while doing it. Great work!

  11. I love the way Camilla looks like she is actually having fun and is interested in people.
    Perhaps that’s the missing ingredient with Bill and Kate? It always looks so forced and they look a bit bored – maybe they are not really intersted in people?

  12. Is it terrible of me to say on 38 comments about domestic abuse and neglect 200 about Kate yanking her pants? No negative directed, it’s just what pulls attention.

    1. That’s just the way it is. People would rather complain about Kate’s skinny jeans than praise Camilla’s work to help women.

      1. I wouldn’t say it’s all that tho. This is a Kate-centric blog so your Kate articles are going to automatically pull more in. I actually had no idea how much I liked Camilla until I stumbled on here due to reasearching the swedes.
        I think Sophia is essentially trash and hasn’t changed her ways so when I see that you’ve done an article on her, I debate whether I want to read it or not. I keep thinking this could be the day/article that shows me she’s changed so I do read it. You haven’t persuaded me yet but I’m open to it so I keep on reading. I think the same can be said about Camila, people have made up their mind on her and/or just not that interested and it reflects on volume. I don’t know numbers but this looks consistent with the amount of volume most of your nonkate articles garner?
        Whether I agree with your POV or not, I do always appreciate the work you put in and the atmosphere you’ve created =)

      2. Unfortunately there’s force–whether it’s irritation etc to criticizing Kate–safe criticism? Versus taking up a issue that could upset a person’s comfortability.

        Whatever it is, good for Cam taking on this work.

  13. The past is the past….Diana vs. Camilla ain’t no more….. Diana was a fabulous lady and I will always keep that tender feeling for her.

    Camilla is alive…and kicking, in the best sense of the word. I am a victim of domestic (emotional parental) abuse and I am greatful for every VIP who shares the message. Thank you, Camilla!

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