Monday, 17 July 2017

Happy 70th Birthday, Your Royal Highness


To mark HRH The Duchess of Cornwall's 70th Birthday, Clarence House has released this new portrait, taken by
HRH The Duchess of Cornwall turns 70 today and instead of celebrating her own birthday it is announced she is to take on a new patronage championing older people. In addition to some 90 charities and organisations she already represents, the Duchess will lend her experience to a helpline to combat loneliness in older age. She joins the Prince of Wales in becoming an influential voice for older people, after he last week spoke out for the forgotten would-be workers aged over 50 who struggle unnoticed to find employment.

They were photographed by Mario Testino in the morning room at Clarence House during a shoot in May, looking relaxed and happy as they smile for the camera side-by-side. The Duchess is captured for posterity in a navy blue dress coat with white embroidery by Fiona Clare, while the Prince wears a coordinating dark blue suit, shirt and tie. Testino paid tribute to the Duchess, describing her as “a kind and beautiful person with a wonderful sense of humour” after working with her again.


In November 2012 the royal couple paid a visit to The Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School in Southbank, Melbourne.

Clarence House hosted a garden reception to acknowledge those the Duchess works with, from former Royal household staff to charity leaders. A fellow party guest Dame Esther Rantzen has announced the Duchess is to be patron of her charity The Silver Line, with her 70th birthday placing her in the perfect position to help.

The Prince, too, has recently used his platform to speak up for older people, presenting awards to entrepreneurs over 50 during a visit to Wales last week. Speaking at Prime Cymru, the Prince’s initiative for “mature enterprise”, he told an audience that the difficulties faced by older workers are too often forgotten.

Though most women her age have long retired, there is no expectation in Royal circles that the Duchess will change her workload following the landmark birthday, continuing charity work in areas including children’s literacy, women’s empowerment and cancer care.

Her portfolio of charities will remain around the same size in the foreseeable future, a Royal source confirmed, with no sense of slowing down as she aids the Prince in his public duties. Both will join the wider Royal family in supporting the Queen and representing her in public engagements as the Duke of Edinburgh retires in the autumn.