SUPPORT OUR JOURNALISM: Please consider donating to keep our website running and free for all - thank you!

Queen Camilla

Queen Camilla encourages women to “inspire generations to come” in powerful speech

In a powerful speech marking International Women’s Day, Queen Camilla told attendees to “let your lives be the stones that will shatter glass ceilings everywhere and inspire generations to come.”

Alongside Queen Mathilde of the Belgians and the Duchess of Gloucester, Queen Camilla attended the Buckingham Palace reception to mark International Women’s Day and to celebrate the Women of the World (WOW) Girls Festival Bus tour, which marked its final stop at the palace.

The WOW Girls Festival Bus has traveled up and down the United Kingdom to bring workshops and activities to young people, mainly young girls, to help them with resiliency, mental health and other vital life skills.

Outside Buckingham Palace, the royal women boarded the bus and viewed the activities taking place in the recording studio and the crafts area. They were joined by young women taking part in the activities as well as celebrities who are vocal in their support of women’s rights, including Helen Mirren and Melanie Brown.

Back inside the palace, Queen Camilla gave a speech—and a history lesson about the ties Buckingham Palace has to the suffrage movement. She presented two stones to the crowd, and said that they had once been hurled at the palace by suffragettes, and that Queen Mary had kept them for posterity.

Queen Camilla said: “I wanted to show you these stones because of what they represent. In 1914, I believe, they represented hope to the women who threw them—hope that, in the future, they would not be victims of their history, nor of the social and economic forces that were ranged against gender equality.

“Above all, they represented the hope that it was possible, as Christabel Pankhurst said, ‘to make this world a better place for women.’ Today, 110 years later, you have been invited into Buckingham Palace because you too represent hope for women in the present and in the future.”

The Queen then spoke of the present, and her hopes for the future, saying that the mentorship and the reach of the WOW Girls Festival Bus Tour has left her “enormously impressed” with the incredible work they’ve achieved in the six months they were on the road.

Before ending her speech, she quoted Christabel Pankhurst, a powerful suffragette, “Remember the dignity of your womanhood. Do not appeal, do not beg, do not grovel. Take courage, join hands, stand besides us, fight with us.”

The Queen finished her speech: “To which I would only add: let your lives be the stones that will shatter glass ceilings everywhere and inspire generations to come.”

"; n.innerHTML = "window._taboola = window._taboola || [];_taboola.push({mode:'thumbnails-a', container:'taboola-below-article-thumbnails', placement:'Below Article Thumbnails', target_type: 'mix'});"; insertAfter(t, e); insertAfter(n, t) }injectWidgetByMarker('tbmarker');

About author

Jess Ilse is the Assistant Editor at Royal Central. She specialises in the British, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish Royal Families and has been following royalty since Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee. Jess has provided commentary for media outlets in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Jess works in communications and her debut novel THE MAJESTIC SISTERS will publish in Fall 2024.