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The Duchess of Cornwall delivers opening address at the Women of the Year Lunch

The Duchess of Cornwall delivered the opening address at the Women of the Year Lunch on Monday afternoon in Central London.

Joining 450 other inspirational women at the Intercontinental Hotel, Camilla celebrated the achievements of women from all walks of life, from agriculture to entertainment.

In her speech, the Duchess praised all of the women present for the positive impact they have had on society.

She said: “You all represent, not only yourselves and your own achievements, but also the millions of remarkable women who make a difference every day.”

Some of the well-known faces who were at the annual meal included television presenter Sandi Toksvig, Great British Bake Off judge Prue Leith, and ‘The First Lady of Football’ Baroness Brady.

The Women of the Year awards were founded in 1955 by Antonia Lothian who had grown up in war-torn Italy, and later married Peter Kerr, 12th Marquis of Lothian in 1943. She saw through the circles her husband moved in the benefits that could be gained when men met in pleasant surroundings and ironed out differences.

She also felt that such a situation would also benefit women if they too could have a such a meeting. Despite being told by both sexes she could never find five hundred famous women – career women, she set out to prove them all wrong. She was helped by her two friends Lady Georgina Coleridge and Odette Fellows, a former English spy tortured by the Germans. The fact that the lunches continue to this day prove the legacy of Tony Lothian continues and flourishes.

The attendance of the Duchess at this event, fits in very well with another of her roles, as in 2015 she was President of the Women of the World Festival which also celebrates the achievements of women and girls together with acknowledging the obstacles they must overcome.]

Additional reporting by Peter Anderson

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