The Duchess of Cornwall spoke movingly yesterday about her beloved mother, Rosalind Shand, while she spoke at the official launch of the Royal Osteoporosis Society at the Science Museum and unveiled its new logo.
Her Royal Highness said she wished her mother, who died from osteoporosis in 1994, could be here today to see the progress being made against the disease.
“It’s just incredible what’s happened, and I just wish my mother was here today to see what could have been done,” she said.
She admitted she did not know much about the disease until her mother was diagnosed and added that it was something rarely discussed.
“It was 25 years ago that my mother died as a result of osteoporosis. In fact, she was exactly the same age as I am now.
“Then, it was never discussed, rarely diagnosed, and always attributed to old people.
“My family and I were completely devastated, but also, we didn’t understand how somebody could be in so much pain, and we were unable, and the doctors seemed unable, to do anything about it.”
She also stressed the importance of informing the younger generations about osteoporosis, including her grandchildren, and warned against social media fad diets.
The Duchess remarked, “I also think it’s very important to tell my children and my grandchildren that this disease can be prevented.”
“When you are young… you’re immortal. You don’t think about dying, getting old and breaking bones.
“But I think if we can just tell them how important it is to eat the right things, to take exercise – these will go a long way to keeping their bones healthy.”
On fad diets, Camilla told the Daily Mail, “It is this ridiculous dieting, cutting out dairy and all the things that are good for your bones. These girls see ‘Skinny Lizzies’ in a magazine, and they all want to be thin. It’s about social media too.”
Her Royal Highness admitted that she believed the message has slowly started to get through to those younger.
“I think the message is getting through slowly but surely, and I dare say, I hope, there will be a way forward to find a cure for this devastating disease. I’m sure we’re not far off it,” she added.
The Duchess took time to speak to those involved in the charity, their programmes, and plans for the future.
During her visit, the world’s first Osteoporosis and Bone Research Academy also launched, and it will “bring together leading researchers, clinicians and academics to advance knowledge of osteoporosis and develop new medication and treatments,” according to Clarence House.
Osteoporosis “causes bones to become weak and brittle — so brittle that a fall or even mild stresses such as bending over or coughing can cause a fracture,” according to the Mayo Clinic.
The Duchess of Cornwall has been the President of the Royal Osteoporosis Society since 2001.