When I came back to blogging, I made a decision that I wasn’t going to cover other royals in the way I had been in the past, that I was going to focus on Kate unless something really interesting happened, so I haven’t been doing royal round ups because they were essentially made redundant. But there are two non-Kate things I want to touch on, and then KP threw out a video from Kate yesterday, so perfect timing because now I get to include Kate in here, too.
The Duchess of Cambridge‘s 5 Big Questions quiz closes on February 21, which is this Friday, so Kate has done a last push for the quiz by releasing a short video on social media of Kate speaking about the quiz. In the video, Kate says:
Parents and families and carers are at the heart of raising the next generation, and that’s why I felt so passionate about listening to them, and listening to your thoughts and your views, and how best we can support you going forward. That’s why I’ve launched the 5 Big Questions, to hear from as many people from society as possible. We visited Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and England to hear your experiences. I’m really pleased that over 200,000 people have already filled in the survey, but it’s not too late to have your say.My own transcription of the video above
Speaking of the 5 Big Questions thing, during her podcast interview, Kate mentioned a photograph she took of Princess Charlotte smelling a bluebell. At the time I posted my article on the podcast, that photo wasn’t available, but later that day KP released the photo. The photo was taken in Spring 2019 at Anmer Hall. Based on the clothing, I’m guessing this is from the same photoshoot as Charlotte’s 2019 birthday photos.
On a completely different note, The Duchess of Cornwall hosted a reception for SafeLives at Clarence House on February 12. Camilla has previously visited SafeLives in January 2016; she also visited in 2017. After the reception, Camilla gave an interview to Rebecca English at the Daily Mail. I’ve edited the piece slightly to pull Camilla’s quotes and add the headers.
On the January 2016 visit to SafeLives:
I didn’t really know the extent of domestic abuse and I think until I got to that meeting – you probably felt this too – and we all sat round, that I wasn’t sure what I was going to expect. And then one after the other these ladies got up to tell their stories and they were so brave – it was one of the most harrowing experiences I’ve ever, ever had. And I thought to myself, this is going on, what are we doing about it? You know people, I know people that it has happened to. But I don’t think we ever believed it was that bad.
What was going through Camilla’s mind during the January 2016 visit:
Those six ladies that day who got up who were the survivors of abuse or had seen it happen to their mother or daughter or sister or friend. I remember distinctly the lady whose friend was killed by the airline pilot, whose children came back in and he battered her to death. I don’t think I’ve ever forgotten it. It gives me nightmares still. I remember looking at you and we both had tears in our eyes. The statistics are horrendous and of course it’s never been talked about. It’s been a taboo subject for so many years. Nobody has actually dared to stand up and say ‘Look this has happened to me’. But that day those ladies did and I will never, ever forget that.
Does she find it difficult to control herself when she hears those stories:
I am terrible, terrible. Anything like that there is a huge lump in your throat. I think to myself ‘Oh dear, I do hope I have got my waterproof mascara on’.
On not being able to walk away from this topic:
I didn’t know what I could do. But I knew I had to do something. You have to investigate it a lot more to see what you can do. My initial response was to get people together from all the different outlets dealing with it. I don’t think they had spoken to each other before, properly anyway. You have the police, you have the wonderful people in the community with their tiny little charities doing everything they can. But unless they make it a joined-up programme, nothing is going to happen. I am lucky enough to have a place to be able to do it. I can get people to Clarence House, I can give them a drink and some lunch, get them to relax and they start talking to one another. When women get together they can achieve an awful lot.
On if Camilla has friends who’ve experienced domestic abuse:
I have known people I suspected it was happening to but they wouldn’t talk about it. People didn’t talk about it then. People feel guilty, they feel ashamed, they think it must be their fault. And I think you have got to convince people that it’s not their fault. Yes, well I recently had somebody I know well, whose daughter was married and living in a foreign country. I said to her one day ‘You’re not looking quite right, what’s wrong?‘ She said ‘I have this terrible problem with my daughter. I can’t believe it as I have never experienced anything like this before. She’s got this strange husband who is exercising coercive control which is undermining her confidence, getting rid of her friends, alienating her family. I just don’t know what to do about it’. The fact I knew a little bit about it meant I was able to put her in touch with people who could help.
On Bobby Van charity:
I work with another charity in Wiltshire called the Bobby Van. It used to be just helping vulnerable old people after they had burglaries, the police didn’t have time to deal with because they thought it was just a minor crime which has now diversified into domestic abuse. When they get a call they go into these homes and make a safe room so that the person who is being abused can lock themselves in with a phone which has a direct line to the police so that they can call for help. It’s just little things like that that make a big difference.
On the bravery of survivors:
To actually leave your home and somebody you have probably been with a long time is actually very brave. And it is not only women, it is men as well. People haven’t really acknowledged the issues of coercive control, which can be terrifying, it really is one person’s word against another.
On continuing to campaign for survivors of domestic abuse:
You know it had hadn’t been for Safe Lives on that day I would never be doing what I am doing now. It changes you. And for that I will forever be grateful.Daily Mail
I appreciate Camilla’s candor on this subject, and that she’s more willing to give interviews now. She didn’t use to give interviews. I want to highlight this interview and engagement because I think it’s an important topic and I appreciate that Camilla has taken it on even though it’s more of a taboo and touchy subject than pets and children (no shade to anyone intended). I think it’s good of Camilla that she tends to go for topics and charities that aren’t easy or PR friendly, like domestic abuse and osteoporosis.
Camilla also gave a speech at the reception, which marked 15 years of SafeLives, which you can read here. You can visit the SafeLives website here. The National Domestic Violence Hotline’s website is here.Embed from Getty Images
Changing gears entirely, I’ll leave you on a more lighthearted note, with Queen Letizia dripping in diamonds for new official portraits.
The Spanish royal court released new portraits of the Spanish royal family last week; I’m only including the ones of Letizia in a tiara here. These portraits were taken by Estela De Castro at the Royal Palace in Madrid.
In the photos, Letizia is wearing the Spanish Fleur de Lys Tiara, the center piece of the Ansorena Fleur de Lys Tiara as a brooch, the earrings and bracelets from the joyas de pasar, and the Order of Charles III. Letizia’s gown is from Carolina Herrera, a repeat from the Japanese Enthronement banquet in October 2019.
Not a fan of this gown, but the diamonds are lovely.