Prince Charles and Camilla

Duchess of Cornwall on the joys of being a grandmother: “Spoil them and give them back”

The Duchess of Cornwall has spoken of the joys of being a grandmother in a television documentary that gives a unique insight into her life.

In the programme, The Real Camilla: HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, the Duchess speaks of how she can “spoil them, give them all the things their parents won’t allow them to have, and then give them back again”.

The Duchess of Cornwall is a grandmother-of-five and is known as ‘Gan Gan’. During the programme which is to be aired on ITV today, she says how she would recommend grandparenthood to everybody as “you haven’t got the full responsibility”.

The documentary follows the Duchess of Cornwall through the year of her 70th birthday. She is seen on overseas tours, welcoming elderly victims of crime into Clarence House, and walking her dogs in Scotland on a gloomy day.

A touching tribute from the Duchess of Cornwall’s husband of 13 years, the Prince of Wales, also features in the documentary. He addresses her work as a patron of more than 90 organisations, including charities working on domestic violence, old age and children’s literacy.

The Prince of Wales said: “My darling wife has been absolutely wonderful with all these charities and takes a huge interest, which they were all telling me about what a difference she makes.

“I know how, how seriously she takes it all. But she does have a wonderful way with people, you see, that’s the special thing. I mean, she’s remarkable, really. She is the best listener in the world, you see, so she can get anything out of anybody and find out their life history in a very quick, short time.”

The programme also sees the Duchess describe how she rescued two Jack Russell terriers, Beth and Bluebell, from Battersea Dogs Home. She speaks of how the “nice thing” about returning from royal tours was the warm welcome they gave her. She said: “They’re always pleased to see you and they never answer you back”.

The full documentary will feature testimony from family, friends and royal historians who describe how the Duchess began a new phase of hard work after marrying into the Royal Family.

Joanna Lumley said how the Duchess had been “desperately frightened and scared” about making speeches. She said: “I’m sure she misses the fact that in the old days, she could do anything she wanted and nobody would have observed her. And now, the eyes are on her forever more.”

The Real Camilla: HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, airs on ITV tonight at 9 pm.