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How the British royals marked International Women’s Day

Queen Elizabeth II
i-Images/ Pool

People around the world celebrated the women in their lives yesterday on International Women’s Day, and the royals were no different. Let’s look at the British Royal Family marked the special occasion.

The Royal Family

The Royal Family social media accounts cover all working members of the British Royal Family, and for International Women’s Day, they honoured two royal women: The Queen and The Countess of Wessex.

Over on Twitter, The Royal Family posted a recap of Sophie’s historic visit to South Sudan (read about Sophie’s visit here!), which was held to mark International Women’s Week and International Women’s Day.

On Instagram, The Queen received a special post highlighting her nearly 65-years of service. The Royal Family posted a photo of The Queen at Trooping the Colour in 1953, riding as Colonel of the Grenadier Guards in her first Trooping as monarch, with a list of her accomplishments:

“Her Majesty is Head of the Armed Forces, Head of the Commonwealth, Head of State in 16 countries and the longest reigning Sovereign in British history.”

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall

Prince Charles and Camilla’s social media accounts focused on Camilla’s work with domestic violence charities and organisations and spotlighted survivors that she’s met over the years.

“The Duchess of Cornwall has been raising awareness about the issue of domestic violence for over 10 years and has visited many domestic violence refuges in the UK & overseas…” the post begins and includes photos of women from all over the world.

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Today on #InternationalWomenDay2020, we are shining a light on survivors of domestic abuse around the world. The Duchess of Cornwall has been raising awareness about the issue of domestic violence for over ten years and has visited many domestic violence refuges in the UK and overseas. At a reception to mark the 15th anniversary of @safelives_ last month, HRH said: “With each story that is told, the taboo around domestic abuse weakens and the silence that surrounds it is broken, so other sufferers can know that there is hope for them and they are not alone.” During a visit to the Battered Women’s Trust in New Zealand last year, HRH was presented with a refuge diamond pin, which is given to people who have provided service to the movement for many years. #IWD2020 📸 Clarence House /PA

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

William and Kate shared an Instagram post of inspiring women they’ve met over the past year. The collage featured women who work at the SOS Children’s Village in Lahore, Pakistan, which the couple visited last fall; Eileen Fenton, MBE, who received her honours from William; the women at Kingston Hospital’s Maternity Unit, who Kate shadowed last fall; and Yvonne Bernstein, a Holocaust survivor Kate photographed earlier this year for World Holocaust Remembrance Day.

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Today is #InternationalWomensDay! To mark the day we are celebrating some of the remarkable and inspiring women we have met over the last year. Clockwise from top left: 1. The women of the SOS Children’s Village in Lahore, Pakistan: where staff provide children, deprived of their natural parents, with an environment which is as close as possible to a natural home, along with loving care, security, higher education and job-training. 2. Eileen Fenton MBE: Eileen was the first woman, at the age of 21, to complete the Cross Channel Swimming Race in 1950, and went on to train scores of first-class long distance and sprint swimmers. 3. The incredible staff at Kingston Hospital’s Maternity Unit: their philosophy of care is to ensure women are at the centre of their service. 4. Yvonne Bernstein: Yvonne was a hidden child in France, travelling in the care of her aunt and uncle and frequently changing homes and names — The Duchess photographed Yvonne Bernstein with her granddaughter Chloe earlier this year as part of the commemorations for the 75th anniversary of the end of the Holocaust. #IWD2020 #IWD

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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex

Harry and Meghan shared posts about Meghan’s visit to the Robert Clack Upper School in Dagenham, where she met students and gave a speech about women’s rights and equality. Meghan also met with Geraldine Dear, a woman at the centre of an equal pay strike back in 1968 at the Ford Motor Company in Dagenham.

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50 years ago, women in Britain won the right to equal pay. That monumental moment began with one courageous and inspiring group of women in a factory in Dagenham, England. In 1968, facing a pay settlement that declared them less skilled than men, the sewing machinists of the Ford Motor Company walked out on strike. In the face of great pressure, they stood firm, and two years later the UK Parliament was forced to pass the Equal Pay Act, protecting and supporting working women ever since. To mark International Women’s Day, The Duchess of Sussex visited Dagenham to meet with Geraldine Dear, one of the strikers, and spend time with students at the Robert Clack Upper School to meet the town’s next generation of female role models, and talk to young women and men about the women who inspire them. • “Being in Dagenham is incredibly profound. Because as you can see with Geraldine and the other women who had the strength to really stand up for something that they knew needed to be done. This is the best example of no matter how small you might feel, how low you may feel on the ladder or the totem pole, no matter what colour you are, no matter what gender you are, you have a voice, and you certainly have the right to speak up for what is right.” – The Duchess of Sussex A lifetime advocate and campaigner for gender equity, The Duchess joined a special assembly to celebrate this remarkable local story, as well as recognise the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of all women around the world. #InternationalWomensDay #IWD2020 #EachForEqual Photo © The Duke and Duchess of Sussex / Chris Allerton

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Princess Eugenie

Princess Eugenie shared photos of women in her Instagram stories that have inspired her, including her mother, Sarah, Duchess of York, who she wrote was a constant inspiration from the day she was born; her sister, Princess Beatrice, who she wrote has been an inspirational big sister since 1990; and her grandmother, The Queen, who she wrote “has dedicated her life to so many others. She has taught me so much by her wonderful example.”

Eugenie also honoured women working in charities she supports, including Aloka Mitra of the Women’s Interlink Foundation; Dr Olivia Chapple of Horatio’s Garden; Ruth, a worker at the Elephant Family; Grace Forrest of the Walk Free Foundation; Baroness Lola Young, who campaigns against human trafficking; Myrna Whiteson, who co-founded the Teenage Cancer Trust; and Mags McHugh, the nurse at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital who helped treat Eugenie when she had spinal surgery to correct her scoliosis.



About author

Jess is a communications professional and freelance writer who lives in Halifax and has a passion for all things royal, particularly the British Royal Family.