Camilla highlights how domestic abuse is ‘terrible hidden secret’ for many women

·3-min read
The Duchess of Cornwall during day two of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse (PA) (PA Wire)
The Duchess of Cornwall during day two of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse (PA) (PA Wire)

The Duchess of Cornwall has spoken about the “taboo” surrounding domestic abuse and how it becomes “a terrible hidden secret” for many women.

Camilla has highlighted the work of domestic violence charities for more than seven years, and she said she will continue to do so in future as Queen Consort.

The duchess spoke with British Vogue about the topic, along with her thoughts on feminism, finding time to spend with her husband the Prince of Wales amid royal duties, and her feelings about turning 75 on July 17.

This comes amid news that ITV is commissioning a one-off documentary with exclusive access to Camilla’s work as she guest-edits Country Life magazine to mark her birthday.

The Duchess of Cornwall in Clarence House. Camilla spoke with British Vogue ahead of her 75th birthday (British Vogue).
The Duchess of Cornwall in Clarence House. Camilla spoke with British Vogue ahead of her 75th birthday (British Vogue).

Speaking with British Vogue about domestic abuse, Camilla said: “I think we all know somebody who it’s happened to.

“I was hearing it too often, from friends who knew friends, and I thought maybe I ought to look into it to see if there was somewhere for me to help.

“There’s been such a taboo. People can still love the people that abuse them, and feel such guilt and such shame that they think it’s their fault, so they bury it.

“It becomes a sort of terrible hidden secret.”

Camilla said she would continue supporting domestic abuse charities following her ascension to Queen Consort because “you can’t desert things that you’re in the middle of”.

She added that as a feminist she loves to see women gaining confidence before they “fly the flag” for their gender.

Duchess of Cornwall visits Bath
Duchess of Cornwall visits Bath

The Duchess of Cornwall, meeting domestic abuse survivors during a visit to Bath-based charity VOICES earlier this year (Finnbar Webster/PA) 

She said: “I meet so many women who I find totally inspirational… Those are the stories I love hearing – people who started with no confidence and they go on to make a mark in the world and fly the flag for women.”

Camilla said balancing work with her marriage is “not easy sometimes” but she and Charles make sure to “sit down together and have a cup of tea and discuss the day”.

She said: “You know when we go away, the nicest thing is that we actually sit and read our books in different corners of the same room.”

An avid reader, the duchess said she was amazed when her online book club, The Duchess of Cornwall’s Reading Room, garnered a hefty following on Instagram – now at the 138,000 mark.

Ahead of her 75th, Camilla said she would be “very happy to turn back the clock”, but she lets milestone birthdays “come and go”.

The Duchess of Cornwall said she and the Prince of Wales find time to sit down together and discuss the day amid royal duties (Hugh Hastings/PA) (PA Wire)
The Duchess of Cornwall said she and the Prince of Wales find time to sit down together and discuss the day amid royal duties (Hugh Hastings/PA) (PA Wire)

The July issue of British Vogue, which includes the full interview, is available from June 21.

Ahead of its release, the magazine’s editor-in-chief, Edward Enninful, described Camilla as one of the most “enigmatic” women in the world.

Writing on Instagram, he said: “The duchess may be one of the most recognisable women in the world, but she is also one of its most enigmatic.

“As she approaches another chapter, we are pleased to mark her Vogue debut with photographer Jamie Hawkesworth’s intimate portraits.

“They capture not only a moment in time but also a moment in history.”

The ITV documentary – called Camilla’s Country Life, by Spun Gold TV and award-winning director Michael Waldman – accompanies the duchess as she plans an overseas special edition of the magazine for its 125th year.

Jo Clinton-Davis, ITV controller of factual, said the documentary will show Camilla “at close quarters” as she invites writers to discover her passions and meets charity workers.

Ms Clinton-Davis said: “This film presents a unique opportunity to gain an insight into the Duchess of Cornwall, at close quarters, immersed within her personal passions and engaged with some of those closest to her.”

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