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Prince Charles and Camilla

Charles and Camilla’s Year in Review


The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall were busy this year promoting local and organic foods and farming, literacy, the importance of reaching out to isolated elders, and supporting the Commonwealth and the UK through a devastating pandemic. Today, let’s take a look back at their year!

January

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Prince Charles sent a video message to the people of Australia following the devastating bush fires in the country; later, he was announced as the first UK patron of the International Rescue Committee.

Mid-month, Charles paid a visit to Oman to attend the funeral of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said on behalf of The Queen.

When the ‘Sandringham Summit’ was held mid-January, Royal Central followed the breaking news coverage of Prince Charles and Prince William arriving ahead of the historic meeting.

In a sisterly gesture, Camilla presented an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws to Princess Anne at a ceremony at the University of Aberdeen. Camilla also made a donation, of an undisclosed but ‘practical’ amount, to help combat the Australian bushfires. She also officially opened the Banchory Sports Village in Aberdeen.

Camilla, The Duchess of Cornwall
The Duchess of Cornwall trying on a virtual reality headset, during a visit to Prospect Hospice in Wroughton, Swindon, United Kingdom, in celebration of their 40th anniversary year. Picture by i-Images / Pool

Camilla’s love of literacy continued in 2020, first with her backing The Sun’s Books for Schools literacy campaign. She also visited the Prospect Hospice for its 40th anniversary.

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Charles gave a keynote speech about climate change saying, “the only limit is our willingness to act,” and met Greta Thunberg. He also hosted the President of Nigeria in a meeting in Scotland and hosted a recital and dinner for Opera Australia at Dumfries House.

In Scotland, Charles hosted a series of engagements at Dumfries House, including with The Prince’s Foundation, the International Network for Traditional Building, North Highland Initiative, Members of the Scottish Parliament, the Crown Estates Scotland, Scottish Tartans Authority, the Royal Dragoon Guards, and the Ambassador of Indonesia. Camilla, meanwhile, held a reception for the Royal Trinity Hospice at Clarence House.

Camilla also paid visits to the Elmhurst Ballet School, Birmingham Children’s Hospital (for the Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity), Lichfield Street Hub, and Launer London Limited.

At the end of the month, Charles undertook a royal visit to Israel and the Occupied Palestine Territories. Royal Central covered the two-day event: day one, day two.

Charles also launched the National Centre for Propulsion and Power at the University of Cambridge’s Institute for Sustainability Leadership.

Camilla travelled to Poland to represent the Royal Family at the commemorations for the 75th anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

February

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At a British Asian Trust event, Charles announced that American singer Katy Perry would become an ambassador. He also paid a visit to a TK Maxx to meet young people who’d taken part in the ‘Get Into Retail’ programme hosted by The Prince’s Trust. 

Charles held meetings with the Royal Botanic Gardens and the AMAR International Charitable Foundation’s Choir; while Camilla visited the Trauma Informed Growth and Empowered Recovery Service in London on behalf of Barnando’s and held a reception for the Naval Chaplaincy Service at Clarence House.

Charles met with Business in the Community, an organisation he’d helped found, and the Professional Teaching Institute, Royal Dutch Shell, Shell UK and with government officials, and Plantlife International. He held a Curlew and Other Priority Species Recovery Summit and visited Overton Organic Eggs for The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund.

Camilla paid a visit to the HM Prison Downview and Maggie’s Centre at the Royal Marsden Hospital.

Mid-month, the royal couple visited Leicester, and Camilla was gifted a statue of suffragette Alice Hawkins. On a rare engagement with The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Charles and Camilla visited the Defense Medical Rehabilitation Centre in Nottinghamshire.

Camilla celebrated the work of Safeline, a domestic violence charity, at a reception at Clarence House; later, she and Charles were ‘sent to the Tower’ on an official visit to the Tower of London. Charles visited Emma Willis, a shirt company and factory in Gloucestershire. In Warwickshire, he brushed up on his Shakespeare while Camilla celebrated Brent as London’s Borough of Culture 2020.

Charles visited Wales to view the flood-stricken areas; he also paid a visit to a hospice in the area. Camilla attended a reception at Clarence House for her patronage, Versus Arthritis, for Women in Science. She held a meeting with her patronage, the Royal Osteoporosis Society; Charles attended a reception at Kensington Palace for The Prince’s Trust about ‘Invest-in-Futures.’

Charles held meetings with the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council and Natural Resources Wales.

At the end of the month, a new royal visit was announced for Charles and Camilla: to Cyprus and Jordan in March.

March

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As March kicked off, Royal Central wondered why Charles thinks ‘God Save the Queen’ is politically incorrect. Charles and Camilla boarded a public bus outside Clarence House; and Camilla gave a highly-praised speech about domestic violence, and we looked at Camilla’s work with domestic violence charities.

Charles visited the Royal College of Music in London, and met with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson at his residence, as well as Major General Shaikh Nasser Bin Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa, the National Security Adviser and Representative for Charity Works and Youth Affairs in Bahrain.

Later, he visited Jesus College and Kellogg College at the University of Oxford while Camilla visited Bousfield Primary School in London for World Book Day and met with the new Chief Executive of Shelterbox, her patronage.

Other meetings for Charles included with the Royal Collection Trust, the WWF-UK, the British Red Cross Society, The Prince’s Trust Group, Sustainable Markets, the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainable Leadership, Commonwealth High Commissioners, and the International Network for Traditional Building, Architecture and Urbanism.

Charles also attended The Prince’s Trust Awards at the London Palladium and held one of the only Investiture ceremonies of the year at Buckingham Palace before they were postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. He visited the Celtic Sheepskin and Company Ltd in his campaign for wool initiative and attended a reception for Surfers Against Sewage; he then opened Nansledan School in Cornwall.

Charles and Camilla joined other senior members of the Royal Family for the Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey and then later attended a reception hosted by the Commonwealth Secretary-General at Marlborough House.

Charles attended a WaterAid Summit in London, and hosted a dinner at Buckingham Palace for The Prince’s Trust. He met with the Governor of the Bank of England and attended a dinner in support of the Australian Bushfire Appeal.

At one of the only racing events this year, Camilla joined Princess Anne and Zara for Ladies Day at Cheltenham. Then, Charles’s and Camilla’s overseas visit to Cyprus, Jordan and Bosnia and Herzegovina was officially cancelled due to coronavirus concerns. It was revealed that Charles attended an event with Prince Albert II of Monaco shortly before the sovereign’s COVID-19 diagnosis.

At the end of the month, Charles announced that he’d tested positive for COVID-19, with mild symptoms. Camilla isolated away from him while he recovered; they isolated in Scotland. It caused a mild furore in Scotland, as questions were asked about whether Charles and Camilla should have been tested in the first place. Clarence House released a health update; and we discussed why the royals had received tests when frontline workers hadn’t. The public saw Charles again for the first time since his diagnosis when he clapped for carers outside his residence.

In isolation, Charles held a meeting with Professor Klaus Schwab of the World Economic Forum by telephone; and later spoke to the chief executives of the International Rescue Committee UK and the British Red Cross by telephone.

Camilla released a message of support for people in the UK who may not feel safe at home; and Charles was out of his COVID-19 isolation on 30 March.

April

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Following his recovery from COVID-19, Prince Charles released a message of support saying “let us try and live with hope” and became the first royal to open an NHS Nightingale Hospital via videolink, when he opened the London field hospital. Camilla praised the work of frontline NHS volunteers.

The royal couple celebrated their 15th wedding anniversary on 9 April. Royal Central looked back at the day, Camilla’s wedding dress, and her wedding flowers. We also explained why they couldn’t be married at Windsor Castle.  

Charles recorded a special Easter message for Westminster Abbey’s podcast while Camilla shared a reading list for the Easter isolation. Following a tragedy in Nova Scotia, Canada, the royal couple released a message of support to Nova Scotians. Camilla also spoke with isolated elders through Silver Line, one of her patronages. On International Dance Day, she revealed that she’d been taking dance lessons for the past 18 months.

Prince Charles held meetings with the National Trust; Camilla helped launch the NHS Volunteer Responders ‘Check In and Chat’ service with the Royal Voluntary Service. She also held a meeting with Medical Detection Dogs, the Royal Academy of Dance and Silver Swans.

Charles spoke with the Prime Ministers of India and Canada via telephone; and held meetings with Sustainable Markets, the Commissioners of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufacturers and Commerce’s Food, Farming and Countryside Commission, Samaritans, In Kind Direct, Teach First, His Royal Highness’s Benevolent Fund, The King’s Fund, and the First Minister of the Scottish Government.

May

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Royal Central wondered if Camilla’s style would ever change to ‘Majesty’ when Charles takes the throne; and it was revealed that Charles would lead the nation as it marked VE Day. Royal Central provided full coverage of VE Day and gave Camilla a vote of confidence as a future queen consort for her conduct during the ceremony.

Charles recorded two radio shows for classical music (where he revealed how he helped pick music for royal weddings and also spoke of a tribute to his beloved grandmother); and sent a message about ‘missing Ireland’ because he wouldn’t be able to make his annual trip to the country due to the ongoing pandemic. He encouraged people to become fruit pickers to help the labour markets recover from the pandemic; Camilla admitted that she’d lost all track of time in lockdown (didn’t we all!) and became a shoe fashion icon in North America.

Following a cyclone, the royals sent a message of support to the people of Bangladesh and India; Charles announced that he’d attend a virtual tea party for the National Trust and shared that his foundation was working to make medical gowns for the NHS.

The royals shared their support for the Royal Mail. Camilla spoke with veterans in her role as patron of the Desert Rats Association, and helped judge a creative writing competition with BBC Radio 2. She began meeting about The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition, and also spoke with representatives at Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity.

Charles held meetings with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, the First Minister of Northern Ireland and the deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland, the First Minister of Wales, the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs for Ireland, the Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, the President of Rwanda, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, and the Prime Minister of Barbados.

He also met with The Prince’s Trust chief executives and The British Asian Trust’s Advisory Council.

June

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Charles revealed that “I’m so determined to find a way out of this” about the pandemic; and attended a service for an oft-forgotten battle from the Second World War. Mid-month, the couple announced that they would return to London from Scotland, where they’d been isolating. They returned to public engagements shortly thereafter.

Camilla announced the winners of the BBC Radio 2 500 Word competition from her home garden; Charles accepted the French Legion d’Honneur on behalf of London. Camilla spoke with the French First Lady via telephone.

After Dame Vera Lynn passed away at age 103, the royals shared poignant tributes to the beloved singer. Camilla joined forces with her daughter-in-law Kate to mark Children’s Hospice Week; and she received a new patronage: the ABF The Soldier’s Charity.

Camilla also became patron of SafeLives, a domestic violence charity, and held meetings with WOW – Women of the World Festival and GIVIT.

Charles held a meeting about the launch of the Great Reset; and met with the Sustainable Markets Initiative, the International Rescue Committee in the UK, the British Council, the Royal College of Nursing Prince of Wales Nursing Cadet Scheme, The Prince’s Council, The Royal Drawing School

Charles also spoke with the President of Nigeria, the Commonwealth Secretary-General, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, the Prime Minister of Canada, the General Officer Commanding London District and Major General Commanding the Household Division, the President of Colombia, the President of Chile,

July

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Charles thanked London Tube staffers for their work during the pandemic and later released a video as restaurants, pubs and businesses began to reopen across the UK. As the NHS marked its 72nd anniversary, Charles released another message praising the organisation.

Camilla announced that she would guest edit Emma Barnett’s BBC Radio show, where she later revealed how much her dogs mean to her. On a visit to Swindon, Camilla thanked frontline workers, while Charles paid tribute to the victims of the London terror attack 15 years later.  

In Bristol, the royal couple visited a food distribution centre; in Wiltshire, Camilla opened a young carer activity centre. The Prince of Wales returned to Wales for the first time since the pandemic began; and new photos of Camilla were released to mark her 73rd birthday (we revealed 73 facts about Camilla for her birthday).

Camilla reviewed the Chelsea pensioners on parade; and when the royals visited Cornwall, Royal Central covered the first and second day of this truncated trip. Charles welcomed visitors back as the Royal Collection Trust reopened. And they might have thought we wouldn’t notice, but we did! Charles and Camilla changed their name on their Twitter profile.

Camilla took a walk through London to see how life after lockdown was going; Charles visited Cotswold Farm Park in his role as patron of the Rare Breeds Survival Trust and later visited Shipton Mill Limited in Tetbury.

Charles attended a meeting of the Accounting for Sustainability Chief Financial Officer Leadership Network Roundtable; and he met with the Intelligence Agencies in his role as patron. He also met with The Prince’s Trust, the Royal Drawing School, the Royal Collection Trust, the Sustainable Markets Initiative, the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership

Charles attended the Commissioning Ceremony at Royal Air Force College, visited the Middlemoor Fire Station, and visited the Caithness General Hospital

Camilla visited the Oxenwood Outdoor Education Centre and met with the Royal Osteoporosis Society. She was appointed Colonel-in-Chief of The Rifles, a post she took over from The Duke of Edinburgh. The pair were involved in a handover ceremony as Prince Philip stepped down and she took over.

August

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After a young boy in Bolton read 50 books during the lockdowns, Camilla sent her praise. After a fatal train derailment in Scotland, near Balmoral, Charles visited the site. Again, Charles and Camilla led the nation’s tributes on VJ Day.

When the coronavirus began to resurge in Australia, Charles sent a message of support; he celebrated as the largest Hindu Temple in the UK marked its anniversary; and Camilla shared a fall reading list. A young boy backed by Camilla vowed to cycle to raise literacy awareness.

Charles met with the North Highland Initiative Covid Fund and representatives of local Caithness businesses and charities. He also met with the Sustainable Markets Initiative.

September

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Camilla wrote a powerful op-ed on domestic violence and celebrated International Literacy Day with schoolchildren in London. In one of her first engagements for The Rifles, Camilla, as Colonel-in-Chief, visited 1st Battalion The Rifles. She also marked an important naval anniversary while Charles became patron of a Jewish youth organisation and paid tribute to fallen police officers.

At the end of the month, the royal couple visited Northern Ireland. We covered the day in pictures.

Charles held a dinner at Dumfries House for The Prince’s Foundation. He then received an update on the Foundation’s textile programme. He held a meeting for the Sustainable Markets Initiative; and met with food producers from Aberdeenshire Highland Beef and the Scottish Seafood Association.

Camilla visited Medical Detection Dogs and met with the Royal Air Force Halton. She also visited The Seed Box and met with the executives at the Brooke Hospital for Animals. Other meetings Camilla held this month include with SafeLives and The Maggie Keswick Jencks Cancer Caring Centres Trust.

Camilla visited Crathie Opportunity Holidays and Ballater Gallery in Aberdeenshire, and met with the Pro-Chancellor of the University of Aberdeen in her role as Chancellor.

October

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Following the death of the Emir of Kuwait, Charles travelled to the country to pay his respects. We wondered if Charles would need to quarantine after he returned from Kuwait, and later learned that he wouldn’t have to under government rules.

Charles showed his support for local food producers while Camilla helped launch the ‘Hour of Need’ Campaign. Camilla visited Wiltshire Council to show her appreciation for their work during the pandemic; and in Brixton she praised the efforts of young people.

On World Osteoporosis Day, Camilla released a video message calling for the world to end this ‘silent disease’ and baked brownies for a charity. She presented a special Olivier Award and visited an arboretum near Highgrove.

We wondered why male heirs to the British throne are called ‘Prince of Wales’ while Camilla supported a canine project that detects COVID-19. Meanwhile, Charles signed a cheque for £1 million that he may have wanted to keep!

Camilla held a tea for Duchenne UK and met with representatives from the Cornwall Community Foundation. Charles met with representatives from the Campaign for Wool and Camilla visited Maggie’s Barts at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital.

Charles called the President of Ireland and met with the Sustainable Markets Initiative representatives. Per the Court Circular, Charles, as “Royal Colonel, The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland…received Fijian representatives from the Regiment to mark the 50th Anniversary of Fijian Independence.”

Charles also visited The Royal Dragoon Guards in Catterick and the Royal Air Force Menwith Hill in his role as patron of the Intelligence Agencies. Camilla met with representatives of Medical Detection Dogs and later received the Colonel Commandant of The Rifles.

While Camilla met with Barnardo’s Young Carers, Charles met with the Atlantic Salmon Trust. Charles later met with the Mayor of Bristol and other city representatives. He held meetings with The Prince’s Trust and The Prince’s Trust International, the Sustainable Markets Initiative, and the Prime Minister of Iraq.

Camilla joined a video ‘tank tea’ with veterans and officers of The Royal Lancers (Queen Elizbeths’ Own). She also spoke to the winner of The Duchess of Cornwall Award from the Royal Osteoporosis Society and met representatives of the Theatre Artists Fund at the London Palladium.

At their home, Charles and Camilla received representatives of The Elephant Family. Charles later met with the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

November

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Camilla opened the Field of Remembrance at a poignant service and sent a message to her troops as Colonel-in-Chief of The Rifles. Since the Festival of Remembrance couldn’t happen as usual, Charles and Camilla recorded a message for this year’s special version.

The royal couple joined The Queen, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, The Earl and Countess of Wessex, and The Princess Royal and Sir Timothy Laurence for Remembrance Sunday events. Charles laid two wreathes. The couple also attended the centenary commemorations for the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Westminster Abbey.

It was later announced that Charles and Camilla would visit Germany, the first British royals to do so, to take part in Remembrance events. Charles recorded a special message for those celebrating Diwali; and praised those who’ve contributed to society during these difficult times in a separate message.

Charles officially helped launch a textiles initiative after a year of meetings and Camilla spoke of her love of reading for the Booker Prize ceremony. Charles celebrated his 72nd birthday and we looked back at a year of his life in photos. Camilla praised young writers who’ve used their creativity this year.

After The Crown’s fourth season premiered and caused a backlash against Charles and Camilla, our Deputy Editor, Brittani Barger, argued that we need to stop painting Camilla as a villain. Camilla was one of many royal women who lent their voices to show support for women on International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

Charles met with chief executives at the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership. He also held meetings with the Chief of the Defense Staff, the British Asian Trust, the Sustainable Markets Initiative, The Prince’s Trust, the Royal Shakespeare Company, Social Impact Bonds, and with the Chancellor of Germany.

Charles visited with United Kingdom and Canadian Service personnel who were taking the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps exercise ‘Loyal Leda’ at Royal Air Force Fairford. He also spoke with the President of Ireland via telephone.

December

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Charles and Camilla announced that they would spend Christmas at Highgrove after the annual Sandringham Christmas was cancelled due to the pandemic.

Charles held meetings with the Royal Collection Trust, the Royal Drawing School, the Royal Opera House, The Prince’s Trust International, the Prime Minister of Pakistan, and Waitrose Dutchy Organics.

The royal couple visited Soho Theatre; they also signed an iconic wall at the 100 Club and celebrated the 800th anniversary of Salisbury Cathedral. They also paid a visit to the National Gallery.

We reminded you of the time Charles was hit by a bus; Camilla’s dog, Beth, helped her unveil a plaque; and the royal couple shared their Christmas card. It was announced that Camilla would record a special message during Strictly Come Dancing (a show she’s said she loves in the past), and she encouraged people to reach out to isolated elders in a separate message.

We took a look at Highgrove House and Camilla’s best Christmas fashions to wrap up the year.  

About author

Jess is the Senior Royal Reporter and Editorial Assistant at Royal Central. Her interest in royalty started in her teenage years, coinciding with The Queen's Golden Jubilee in 2002 and grew from there. She specializes in the British Royal Family (with emphasis on the Cambridges) and the Danish Royal Family, and has provided royal commentary for media outlets in Canada, the United States, the UK and Australia.