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The Duchess of Cornwall turns 66 today

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Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall celebrates her 66th birthday today.  Here are some facts about The Duchess to mark the occasion:

  • The Duchess of Cornwall was born Camilla Rosemary Shand at King’s College Hospital in London on the 17th of July 1947.  Her parents were Major Bruce Shand, a British Army officer, and the Hon. Rosalind Maud (née Cubitt), the daughter of the 3rd Baron Ashcombe.


  • The Duchess is the eldest of three siblings: she has a sister, Annabel Elliot (née Shand) and a brother, Mark Shand.  Mark is travel writer, conservationist and founder of Elephant Family, the UK’s biggest funder for the endangered Asian elephant.


  • Her Royal Highness attended Dumbrells School in Sussex, Queen’s Gate School and South Kensington and Mon Fertile finishing school in Switzerland.  The Duchess also studied Fine Art, French and French Literature at the University of London Institute in Paris.


  • The Duchess married Brigadier Andrew Parker Bowles on the 4th of July 1973.  The couple had two children, Thomas Henry in 1974 and Laura Rose in 1978.  The marriage dissolved in 1995.


  • The Duchess married the Prince of Wales in a civil ceremony at the Guildhall in Windsor on the 9th of April 2005.  A Service of Prayer and Dedication took place afterwards at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle and was presided over by the Archbishop of Canterbury.  Her Majesty The Queen hosted a wedding reception at Windsor Castle for the Royal couple.


  • Upon her marriage to The Prince of Wales, Her Royal Highness decided to use the title The Duchess of Cornwall, as her husband is also known as The Duke of Cornwall.  When in Scotland, Her Royal Highness is known as The Duchess of Rothesay.


  • The Duchess’s title and style in full is Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall, Duchess of Rothesay, Countess of Chester, Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order.


  • Her Royal Highness was granted a Royal Coat of Arms by The Queen shortly after her marriage to The Prince of Wales.  The Coat of Arms is known as an impaled Coat of Arms, as it brings together The Prince of Wales’s Coat of Arms with that of the Duchess’s father, the late Major Bruce Shand.


  • Clarence House is the official residence of The Duchess of Cornwall and The Prince of Wales.  The Royal couple have a family home in Gloucestershire called Highgrove House.  When in Scotland, Their Royal Highnesses stay at their private residence, Birkhall.


  • The Duchess made her inaugural overseas visit to the United States in November 2005.


  • The Duchess grew up with dogs and cats and her keen interest in animals and animal welfare is now reflected in many of her Patronages.  She is Patron of the Kennel Club Charitable Trust and Animal Care Trust.


  • Her Royal Highness owns two Jack Russell terriers, Beth and Bluebell, who were both rescued as puppies from Battersea Dogs and Cats Home in London.


  • The Duchess learned to ride ponies at a young age and enjoys riding in her spare time.  She often attends racing and other equestrian events and is Patron of the British Equestrian Federation and the Scottish National Equestrian Centre.  In 2006, The Duchess became President of The Brooke, an organisation dedicated to improving the lives of working horses, donkeys and mules in Africa, Asia and Latin America.


  • The Duchess was presented with a hybrid tea rose grown in her honour in 2005.  The flower, called Rosa Duchess of Cornwall, has a soft, pink flower with a spicy fragrance and dark, glossy foliage.


  • The Duchess has been President of the National Osteoporosis Society since 2001 and has worked for many years to raise awareness of the disease.  Her mother, Mrs Rosalind Shand, died as a result of osteoporosis in 1994.  The Duchess’s grandmother died from the same condition eight years earlier.


  • Her Royal Highness is Patron of the National Literacy Trust, Book Trust and First Story.  These are organisations aimed at promoting and supporting literacy in young people throughout the United Kingdom.  As an avid reader, the Duchess is keen to promote the benefits of reading to children and has read aloud to children at numerous events.


  • The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall are both great supporters of the arts and regularly attend concerts and theatre shows.  Her Royal Highness is Patron of the London Chamber Orchestra and the Theatre Royal in Bath. The Duchess is also to follow in the footsteps of the Queen Mother and become the patron of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain.


  • The Duchess confessed to being “an addict” of The Killing, a Danish crime drama, and specifically requested a trip to the film set on her final day of the Scandinavian tour that she undertook with The Prince of Wales in 2012 to mark the Diamond Jubilee.


  • The Duchess, like The Prince of Wales, is committed to supporting local food producers and encouraging children to learn more about where the food they eat comes from.  To celebrate The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, Her Royal Highness created a competition called “Cook for The Queen”, inviting schools in the United Kingdom to submit menu suggestions which would be served at a reception at Buckingham Palace attended by Her Majesty The Queen in June 2012.


  • The Duchess is President of the UK Vineyard Association and has revealed herself to be a “passionate” connoisseur of wine.  The Duchess’s father, Major Bruce Shand, was a wine exporter and it has been said that Her Royal Highness “has a deep knowledge of grapes and vintages”.


  • The Duchess has seven military appointments and, with The Prince of Wales, supports the work of the Armed Forces in the United Kingdom and abroad whenever possible.  The Duchess became Colonel-in-Chief of The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada in January 2011.


  • Her Royal Highness has been sponsor of HMS Astute since 2007 and was guest of honour at a service to commemorate the formal acceptance of the vessel by the Royal Navy in 2010.


  • The Duchess made history by being installed as the first female Chancellor of Aberdeen University in June 2013.  Her Royal Highness, known as The Duchess of Rothesay in Scotland, is the first member of the Royal Family to hold the post, which dates back to 1860.  The life-long role comprises ceremonial duties including awarding degrees to graduates at the end of each year.


  • Her Royal Highness is the great-great-granddaughter of Sir Allan MacNab, who was Prime Minister of the Province of Canada before Confederation and the builder of Dundurn Castle in Hamilton.  The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall visited Canada together in 2009 and visited Dundurn Castle, now a National Historic Site.  Following the visit, Her Royal Highness became Patron of the Dundurn National Historic Site.


  • The Duchess was appointed Dame Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order, an honour made by the Sovereign in recognition of personal service, by Her Majesty The Queen on the 9th of April 2012, her seventh wedding anniversary.


  • The Duchess is a fan of British fashion designer, Anna Valentine.  Her Royal Highness wore dresses by the designer to her own wedding to Prince Charles in 2005, the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton in 2011 and to various other official engagements.


  • The Duchess attended the State Opening of Parliament for the first time in May 2013.


  • Her Royal Highness embarked on her first solo overseas engagement as a member of the Royal family in May 2013 and visited Paris on behalf of her social enterprise charity, Emmaus UK.


  • The Duchess has five grandchildren:  Lola and Freddy Parker Bowles and Eliza, Gus and Louis Lopes.  Eliza was a bridesmaid at the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton in April 2011.


  • When The Prince of Wales accedes to the Throne, The Duchess of Cornwall will use the title Her Royal Highness The Princess Consort.



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