Camilla at WOW reception: ‘it’s more important than ever for women to unite’

Camilla at WOW reception: ‘it’s more important than ever for women to unite’

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall marked International Women’s Day yesterday, March 8, with a reception at Buckingham Palace to celebrate the Women of the World Festival, of which Camilla is President.

Camilla gives speech at Women of the World on International Women's Day 2017
[Clarence House @ClarenceHouse]

The Women of the World festival – which runs all week at the Southbank Centre in London – champions gender equality, celebrates the achievements of women and girls everywhere, and examines the obstacles that keep them from fulfilling their potential. It was launched in 2011 as a major global festival that celebrates women and girls and looks at the obstacles they face, where hundreds of women’s stories are shared, feelings vented, fun had, minds influenced, and hearts expanded.

Camilla became President of the Women of the World Festival in 2015, after supporting it since it’s launch in 2011.

The reception was attended by women such as Gillian Anderson, HE Afra Al Basti, and Cherie Blair. Camilla gave a speech at the event (the ellipses are theirs; I did not edit the transcript).

    “I’m delighted to welcome you all to Buckingham Palace on International Women’s Day, to celebrate the inspiration of the indomitable Jude Kelly. As the founder of WoW, she has produced bigger and better Festivals every year at the South Bank Centre in London… and as its proud President, I feel honoured to have been part of it since its conception.
    “Now, in these turbulent times, I believe that it’s more important than ever for women of all ages, and from every walk of life, to unite. WoW provides that place… a place where hard-hitting issues that deeply affect women’s lives can be openly discussed, and where obstacles that block their paths can be faced together; it gives them a chance to talk about different solutions to life’s challenges and above all, it celebrates and supports the achievements of remarkable women and girls worldwide.
    “WoW is too big to be limited to its London home: twenty other Festivals are spreading the word – from Bradford to Baltimore, from Cardiff to Karachi – with seven more in the pipeline. I myself was in Sydney to launch WoW Australia in 2012 and in Washington for the 2015 Festival, and I hope to be part of many more.
    “Although WoW is growing across five continents, it has not lost its link with the everyday lives of women, and what matters to them. Before every Festival, wherever it may be, there are ‘think-ins’ open to everyone. Some of the events to emerge from the Bradford ‘think-ins’ will include a discussion of ‘Women crossing borders’, a session on mentoring, and an Arabic singing workshop: something for everybody living in this diverse community…
    “At the South Bank Festival this week, as well as some amazing drama, poetry and music, you’ll find spellbinding speakers and a huge breadth of topics – such as the plight of Yazidi women and girls and who were kidnapped in 2014 by ISIS; the difficult path to justice for victims of rape and sexual abuse and the experiences of international women of courage who stand for human rights, and justice in war and conflict zones – to name but a few.
    “I know that the events of the 7th WoW Festival at the South Bank Centre will fizz with energy, to surprise and enthral those taking part. WoW has gained momentum and stature with every year and I have no hesitation declaring it unstoppable….”


Jude Kelly, Southbank Centre’s artistic director and WOW founder, said:

    “As women’s progress accelerates globally we are seeing backlash and resistance surfacing, with basic rights under threat and a frightening increase in violence against women. In using all our creativity to support each other, we can find the courage to move beyond our own circles and learn how other women face challenges different from our own. WOW celebrates and learns from diversity of all kinds – and welcomes everyone to be part of this global movement for change.”

43 thoughts on “Camilla at WOW reception: ‘it’s more important than ever for women to unite’

  1. Even though this is the DoC patronage I think she’s secure enough in herself and it would be rather wonderful if she could have got the other Royal girls along with her. I rather like seeing them all together.

    Fab event, DoC looks and sounds so impressive. She really is coming into her own now. She’s certainly displays regal qualities whilst being accessible and warm. Well done her. She fast becoming one of my favourite Royals and I can tell you 20 years ago you would never ever have heard me say that. Time really is a great healer.

    1. Maybe she’s learned something in the 20-35 years since that all went down. Learning and growing and changing one’s opinions based on new information doesn’t make one a hypocrite.

    2. Look what Diana did to Julia Carling, Susan Mannakee, and Diane Hoare. She obviously didn’t think marriage vows were sacred, because she had affairs with at least three married men.

    3. I never understood how Camilla could say the things she said to Diana as she she was aware Charles was cheating. Charles and Camilla behaved horrible. What should Diana do? “Ok, you love each other, I don’t see a thing, I take my boys and live my life?” She had the right to disobey. Charles and Camilla are far more similar to the Queen in just moving on.

      1. Diana and Camilla were raised in a world where cheating was normal. Cheating didn’t mean you didn’t love your spouse or couldn’t remain married to them.

        It wouldn’t be wierd to befriend your spouse’s lover. Diana did it with Charles’s other long term mistress.

        Finally, everyone in Charles’s world new about Camilla and Kanga and accepted their presence in Charles’s life.

        Anne Wallace, the woman before Diana, came very close to marrying Charles, but she backed out after she realised how attached he was to Camilla and Kanga. He proposed to her twice, she passed the Balmoral test etc. And Anne Wallace was very vocal about why she turned him down. Unlike Jane Wellesley who made it clear she didn’t want to be a royal, Anne pointed the finger at Camilla and Kanga.

        For Diana to claim not to have known about Camilla and Kanga when everyone in their circles knew is something i find revisionist because she often retold stories to suit her own version of events.

        1. One thing in Diana’s favor in this situation, I think, was her age when she married. She was so very young. I doubt she would have reacted the same way to the proposal, had she known about Camilla, if she were older when she was asked to be Charles’ bride.

          Just a thought.

          1. Whilst i agree with the age factor, not just in refusing the proposal, but also handling Charles and Camilla situation after discovery, you have to remember that Diana’s family also wanted this marriage to go ahead.

            When Diana had doubts before the wedding, irrespective of the cause of those doubts, her family pushed her down the aisle.

            Her family has form in social climbing. Diana’s own mother had been abandoned and stripped of her children in favour of her titled abusive ex-husband.

            Going as far back as the early years of the Spencer family. They’ve always married for social position (and the usual material gain) so one could say that Diana was being obtuse if she didn’t see the machinations going on around her.

    4. Yeah, look what Diana did to married women or the rumors she spread about Tiggy having an abortion of Charles’s child…

      1. She tried to break up her own family too, literally. She claimed that she pushed her step-mother down the stairs at Althorpe. I read that with horror.

        1. Jet, You will think me a horrible person, but the thought of Diana as a girl pushing the tacky Raine Spencer down the stairs brings to mind the movie “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane.”

          By the end of Diana’s life she and Raine had made peace with each other.

    5. Firstly you are assuming Diana’s version of events is accurate. Unless you were there you don’t know. Other versions have Charles and Camilla not becoming lovers until after the marriage had already broken down.

      Secondly, if the same rumour mill is to believed, Diana had affairs with at least two married men and others who were in relationships. The charge of hypocrisy can be leveled in more than one direction.

  2. People are allow to grow and learn from their past mistakes. We are a totality of our behavior not just one aspect of our lives. Can you imagine if we were judge solely on a mistake we made, who of us can stand. It’s time people stop holding the past against her, I think.

  3. Camilla continues to impress me and I was of the opposition until I started reading about her on this blog. Let’s be honest about something, if I may ask, please. Camilla was not the only person who was hurting Princess Diana. Charles was married and chose to have an affair. Many, I think. I realize now that Diana did, as well. I don’t want to flash back on the old issues, but rather, I am impressed by Camilla and think she deserves credit where credit is due.

  4. There is something warm and genuine about Camilla that comes across. You can see in her body language that she is very comfortable in her role. I think it would be fun to have a few cocktails with her.

  5. I am impressed with Camilla and the causes she supports.

    And if Meghan gets Harry to the altar, I think she will work more in this mode than the vapid clotheshorse mode.

    1. I so agree with you! I have thought about Meghan working more than William and Kate because she has had to work to make a living.

      1. +1

        Both DoC and Princess Henry will be great assets to HM POW and the Monarchy.

        KMR with Meghan continuing to shine with her charities (TIME article for Indian girls), once Prince Henry official proposal – we could start taking bets on how long Princess Henry will take to earn HM RFO. Look at recent unfriendly/ lazy bill and chutney middleton with Prince Harry at the War Memorial.

        Prince/ess to be Henrys, highlighting two lazy usless to BRF, GB – Prince Henrys’ rule!

        1. It is far more likely that Harry and spouse will continue down this same path of living a life of full-time under-the-radar private pleasure punctuated with engagements every now and then. That’s what he’s been doing for some time now. I think you will be disappointed if you expect anything else. The brothers are more alike than not.

          1. I wholeheartedly agree. Harry and spouse will end up not outworking William and Kate, will end up taking many vacations a year, and will end up hiding their children away because they have even less of a reason to bring them out than William and Kate do.

          2. They will have a less of a reason to bring their kids out publicly, because like Louise and James, their children will never be working royals.

            My hope is, whomever he marries, she is smart enough to start her own non-profit (a la Sentebale) that belongs to her and is done on personal time. That would allow an ambitious spouse to still accomplish a lot, even while staying under W&K in engagement numbers. Good place for any kids to land, too, so they receive less of the B&E treatment.

      2. I highly doubt Harry’s wife (whomever she may be) will out-work William or Kate. For whatever reason, Harry refuses to out-work William, so I highly doubt Harry’s wife will out-work Kate, and especially not William.

  6. Camilla: Well prepared, delivered excellent heartfelt speech, looked regal and professional, inclusive, history of supporting Women of the World Festival.

    She’s an excellent ambassador.

  7. I love that most of Camilla’s charities are to empower people. Whether it’s literacy, victims of domestic violence or this organization -at the core they empower women and children and she always seems engaged and fun at her events. So kudos to her

  8. Camilla is wonderful. I love how her charities genuinely empower and help people in so many different ways. She is a warm, wonderful woman. I wish we had someone like her in the US.

    I”m gonna have to eat my hat, friends. KP announced W&K will go to the Irish Guards this year. Good!

    1. I think they made a rod for their backs with this engagement. People will watch it with a beady eye such that not attending will always be judged negatively.

      They should have given a gracious reason for not attending. Letting it be known initially that we shouldn’t have expectations, then blaming it on the kids was truly buggling at it’s finest.

      1. Trying to blame it on the kids after the fact, after the press had already been told that it was because she didn’t want to set the expectation that she’d be there every year. Do they think no one remembers things day-to-day?

        That and showing up at her engagement the next day with clearly re-dyed and cut hair, proving she’d been at the hair dresser instead of 1) at the Irish Guards or 2) with the kids.

        1. I think the only person who can make W&KM do anything is Carole. And Carole is intent on keeping negative publicity to a minimum for Pip’s upcoming wedding. She’s been working different angles for months to clean up her children’s and W’s PR messes. She likes to take credit for running Anmer, W &KM and their kids. She is desperate to fix W&KM’s laziness and entitlement which she enables such as the Christmas debacle. She was front and center at both church strolls, the second one going to church with the Queen a few weeks later. Carole braying with glee at the sight of W is always a creepy, evil genius sight.

          I also think she’s a motivating force for the Cambs increased appearances. Plus, I don’t think all is well at the Cambs’ given Rebecca’s departure and the persistent rumours that Carole is a first class meddler in the household.

          Poor Carole. In her desperation to be one of the aristo set, she fashions herself a maestra of the future of crown.

          Another Midd development just before the wedding: Media are reporting James’ cake business is folding under its debt. I don’t know how this affects Boomf but it doesn’t sound promising. Maybe after she sends off Pips she can work on marrying off James.

          1. The Middleton’s have been re-badging themselves lately. They appear less smug than in the past. I’ve wondered why when they have been previously tone-deaf to the public’s distaste for them. What do they want? I don’t believe their ambition has abated… leopards and changing spots comes to mind.

            I noted a while back that newly-engaged Pippa was desperate to put paid to the label that she was a socialite; again, I wondered why because she has chased after that life since university days and is now set to live it big time.

            I can well believe Carole is a meddler/ control-freak when it comes to the Cambridge’s. These are two difficult people with serious issues; neither inhabits adulthood with ease. I can’t see Carole getting them to do more royal work, but she is protecting her investment. I can see that she needs to be top dog all the time; perhaps it’s easier for W+K to let her coddle them.

          2. Great post, Indiana Joanna! I wish there was a “Love” button like on Facebook!

            Carole appears to be the “power behind the throne” (so to speak). It’s very disturbing the iron grip she has on her daughter, son-in-law and the constant presence in their lives. Heck, her creepy interest in Kate’s relationship with William was obsessive (didn’t she have William’s picture as her phone wallpaper at one point?!) and wrong, on so many levels. **shudders**


          3. Kimothy, Thanks! As Jen so aptly said neither W nor KM “inhabits adulthood easily.” Carole exploits this, enables it, but now feels the need to change the public’s perception because it’s all going wrong at the moment.

          4. It’s all ‘going wrong’ because the W+K relationship was built on false foundations in the first place. Carole is dreaming if she thinks a few well-placed articles will erase their abject laziness as well as the image of Middleton’s as grifters.

  9. Hurrahh for the Guards. They deserve no less. To make a mistake once is unfortunate to make it again twice is stupid. Let’s hope they’ve learnt from their stupidity that there are some Royal events you just don’t screw up for a fresh blow dry and colour.

    What a relief, I thought we were going to be seconded into KP to sort some basic matters out.

    Anyone else think that RD’s departure is not on good terms? I mean the Cambridges are supposed to be stepping their game up in September and yet Kate’s chief babysitter is leaving in the Summer? Isn’t it odd in 2017 to leave a job just because you are getting married? Is there a story here or my over fertile imagination working overtime?

    1. It may just be a coincidence that Rebecca is leaving a few months after getting married. She’s getting married in March. She’s leaving this job in summer. But the two things may not be related.

    2. Yes, it is odd that someone would leave and give “getting married” as an excuse. Unless either she or her husband are independently wealthy, it appears as a good excuse to quit a job she’s wants out of.

  10. I love how Camilla is so involved with the charities she supports and that she’s a champion for the hard-to-talk-about charities.

    (Now if only we could get a royal involved with organ donation/transplantation and they were consistent with the work. 😉 Prince Charles became the Patron of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust in late 2014, during its 50th anniversary and taking over for Princess Alexandra. 🙂 )

  11. +1

    Both DoC and Princess Henry will be great assets to HM POW and the Monarchy.

    KMR with Meghan continuing to shine with her global charities (TIME article for Indian girls), once Prince Henry official proposal – we could start taking bets on how long Princess Henry will take to earn HM RFO. Seem the unfriendly looks at recent War Memorial/ unveiling by HM- lazy bill and chutney middleton not looking too happy with Prince Harry – whiny seem to sulking.

    t Prince/ess Henry went on vacation and no photos of flashing, nude photos, waity middleton style and whiny secret vacation. Still the Henrys’ manage to have a great vacation with friends.

    Prince/ess to be Henrys, highlighting two lazy usless people HM/BRF, GB. The Henrys’ rule!

    1. I don’t think Harry’s wife (whomever she may be) will have time to earn the RFO from QEII.

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