The Duchess of Cornwall has taken part in a call with the Silver Line as its patron. The Duchess has been Patron of the Silver Line since 2017.
The Duchess took part in a call between a regular Silver Line user, the 90-year-old Betty from Hampshire and Dame Esther Rantzen. She took the call from Birkhall, her and her husband’s home in Scotland. She first spoke to Betty in 2017 when she visited the Silver Line helpline in person in Blackpool, and Betty has written to the Duchess over the years. She last wrote a poem about the liberation of Auschwitz after the Duchess of Cornwall visited the former concentration camp in January.
The Duchess, Dame Esther and Betty chatted about different topics, including how difficult it was being separated from family and what it was like during the war. The Duchess said: “It’s going to be a very strange VE Day this year. We won’t be able to do anything in person with veterans, which is so sad. You just hate missing a year, because those times mean so much”.
The Duchess went on to say: “It’s so important that people share their memories of the war. I think that the people who lived through it have extra strength for the situation we are in now. Just like during the war, this situation brings the best out of people. You hear such wonderful stories of people helping others. Your generation was always very modest about these things. We will never see the like of your generation again. People were always thinking about others, and about duty and service and respect and manners. Those are the things I associate with your generation, Betty”.
“My father was a soldier in the war and we could never get him to talk about it. But when the grandchildren came along, he started talking about it and we got him to write a small book about it. I think it was a huge load off his mind to be able to tell people about it”.
The conversation then moved on to family and The Duchess commented: “I really miss my grandchildren.
That’s the really strange thing about it, not being able to see your grandchildren and giving them a hug”.
The Duchess ended the call saying: “Stay safe everyone and see you when this is all over”.