When, more than a year ago, the Duchess of Cornwall first bravely spoke out in this newspaper about the horrors of domestic violence, I doubt I was alone in wondering: What could she possibly understand about it?
And yet through her quiet and diligent work as patron of the charity SafeLives, Camilla has done more than anyone to highlight the plight of abused women.
Yesterday, writing in The Guardian, she pointed out how lockdown has caused a huge increase in the torment suffered by those trapped in these relationships.
‘Abusers work from home,’ SafeLives chillingly warns. There is nothing self-aggrandising about supporting this cause. Domestic violence is gritty and ghastly: one of the least glamorous subjects for which any royal could campaign.
Yet it could still save lives: and Camilla is clearly sincere when she implores people to ‘reach in’ if they suspect someone is a victim, not to wait for them to reach out. Needless to say, there are no multi-million pound TV deals in this line of work.
Camilla (left) has done more than anyone to highlight the plight of abused women. Pictured right: Meghan Markle
In her dogged way, Camilla is following a long tradition of royal women — the Queen, Princesses Diana and Anne, the Duchesses of Wessex and Cambridge — who undertake charity work that is mostly unseen and unsung.
How different is the path chosen by the woman who still takes care to call herself the ‘Duchess of Sussex’ and served the Royal Family for all of two years before she decamped to Los Angeles.
As Meghan and hapless husband Harry revealed in a toe-curlingly woke statement, their new multi-million-pound deal with Netflix will ‘shine a light on people and causes around the world . . . creating content that informs but also gives hope’.
The truth is Meghan knows that if she’d stayed in the Royal Family, she could have done all those things.
But there might not have been such an enormous pay packet for being the self-appointed saviour of the universe. This former ‘briefcase girl’ on Deal Or No Deal has now become a money-grubbing, international laughing stock.
Meg’s ‘friends’ claim she had to flee the UK because this is a horribly racist country that never appreciated her talents as a brave campaigner.
How I wish Meghan had taken the time to learn something from Camilla, who was once the most vilified woman in Britain. Yet through hard work, duty and, dare I suggest, a sense of humour and a level of self-awareness that Meghan can only dream of, Camilla has gradually transformed herself into someone most of us respect and admire.
Is it too late for Meghan to do the same?
Katy Perry is celebrated by new mums after posting pictures of herself wearing a breast-milk pump bra and large post-maternity pants
Katy, a perry natural mother
Katy Perry is celebrated by new mums after posting pictures of herself wearing a breast-milk pump bra and large post-maternity pants after the birth of her first child, Daisy Dove.
Others cringe, saying: Too much info Katy! Yet would we not prefer a natural woman showing what new motherhood is really like, rather than celebs pictured a month after giving birth with a perfect work-out body?
Actor John Boyega accuses Disney of using him as a token black man while promoting the hit 2015 Star Wars movie The Force Awakens, then failing to develop his character as a major player in the next two films because he was not white. As I recall, it’s a great movie, but I am left wondering what nuance of ‘bit part, rebel stormtrooper’ Boyega didn’t understand when he read the original script and accepted the role in the first place.
Amanda Holden wears another sexy outfit, promoting her new single With You, a tribute to her stillborn son, Theo. She’s perfect for BGT. Skimpy clothes, a harrowing back story, can’t sing, can’t dance — but a triumph of tenacity and tears over talent. It’s certainly a ‘YES’ from me.
Amanda Holden wears another sexy outfit, promoting her new single With You, a tribute to her stillborn son, Theo
Batty Covid conspiracy theorists rejoiced when filming on the latest Batman movie had to stop after star Robert Pattinson caught the virus. Proof it really is spread by bats!
The latest advice to doctors dealing with the obese patients who cost the NHS billions is to never refer to them as ‘fat’, ‘chubby’ or ‘plus-size’ as it will hurt their feelings. Instead they should refer to their BMI scores. One fears that could be confused with urging them to gobble a few Big Macs Instantly the moment they leave the surgery.
- Health Secretary Matt Hancock has taken the rap for the Government’s disastrous handling of Covid-19, and rightly so. But can he really be culpable for all that’s gone wrong? Surely the man responsible for the bright idea to make people travel over 100 miles for a coronavirus test must be Dominic Cummings.
- Had they consulted him, Barry Humphries could have warned the Government that appointing a former Aussie PM as trade adviser — one famous for boozing, bigotry and budgie smugglers and who models himself on Sir Les Patterson — is bound to end in tears.
- Boris fans are wondering: what is the PM shedding faster, his paunch or his barnet? The cruel back shot in PMQs reveals a comb-over worthy of Arthur Scargill, although Bozzie combs up from the back of his head. Is he taking hairdressing tips from that other baldie denier, Donald Trump?
You’re already a winner, Nic
Boxing champion Nicola Adams believes she will break barriers as the first gay woman to be partnered with another woman on Strictly. Well done her, but loving pictures of Nicola and girlfriend Ella Baig on holiday, hugging and kissing in a pool in Greece, say it all — that thankfully, those barriers have already been broken.
Boxing champion Nicola Adams believes she will break barriers as the first gay woman to be partnered with another woman on Strictly
Civil liberty groups say the arrest of around 300 Extinction Rebellion demonstrators attempting to bring the nation to a standstill is a breach of their right to protest. Isn’t there something pathetic about a bunch of Greta eco-warriors trying to bring London to a halt, when Covid-19 has already done that?
Oh, do scrum off it, Harry
Prince Harry, as patron of the Rugby Football League, Zooms his support from his LA mansion to say he is ‘unbelievably fortunate to have a little outdoor space’ — 5.4 acres to be precise — to teach son Archie the joys of the game.
Crikey, the kid’s 16 months old: that’s some ‘space’.
Archie is, thankfully, too young to hear his sappy dad’s final words: ‘Our little man is our number one priority. Our work is our second . . . to make the world a better place.’
England’s New Zealand rugby foes will be cracking up in their hakas, with uncontrolled laughter.
Men marvel at pictures of Charles Dance, 73, frolicking with a much, much younger blonde in the sea in Venice where he is promoting his new movie The Book Of Vision.
Emerging from the waves with his magnificently tanned physique they ask, how does he do it?
As one who dated him briefly, I can reveal Charlie swims most mornings in the slimy, spinach-coloured healing waters of a London pond.
Even so, it’s enough to make any man over 60 green with envy.
Proud and Prejudice
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the BBC’s production of Pride And Prejudice, cake designer Michelle Wibowo created a 6ft replica of Colin Firth’s iconic Mr Darcy.
She says he tops the list of the most delicious celebs she’s ever made.
Indeed, although weren’t we perhaps a bit over-enthusiastic in the trouser department, Ms Wibowo? As Mrs Bennet would have said: ‘Oh my poor nerves!’
New research into types of cat owners reveals I am a ‘conscientious caretaker’, one who is concerned about the damage their moggy’s impact has on wildlife. Ted made it easy for me, as he’s never killed anything and attempts to be mates with squirrels and birds in the garden. Although he did once befriend a tiny toad — and almost licked it to death.