The period covered by this Annual Review has been a truly unique twelve months, not just for The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, but for everyone around the world.
The year began normally enough with Their Royal Highnesses returning from an historic first trip to Cuba where they sought to strengthen the cultural links between the two countries.
From there, they began a typically brisk programme of UK engagements, national celebrations and commemorations as well as a State Visit from The President of the United States of America. There were further overseas trips including Germany, Japan, India, New Zealand and His Royal Highness’s first visit to The Solomon Islands before The Prince undertook an historic visit to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
It was in Israel that The Prince was one of just four international guests invited to speak at the World Holocaust Forum marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau where he remembered the horrors of the Holocaust and the vital importance of continuing to heed lessons.
The following day The Prince travelled to Bethlehem where he spoke movingly of the need for reconciliation and harmonious coexistence between neighbours. The following week The Duchess of Cornwall represented the UK at the international commemoration at Auschwitz in Poland.
In total, Their Royal Highnesses undertook 580 engagements across more than 90 UK towns and cities and 14 countries around the world. As always, alongside their work in support of The Queen, there was a focus on their philanthropic interests and patronages. In January, fifty years after his first major speech on the Environment, His Royal Highness launched his Sustainable Markets Initiative to accelerate a sustainable future. The initiative brings industry leaders and investors together with world-class innovators with the aim of putting people, planet and Nature at the heart of the global economy.
Meanwhile Her Royal Highness continued to support issues close to her heart such as domestic violence where she gave a key note address on Domestic Abuse: Everyone’s Problem at the tenth Women of the World Festival and launched her first hashtag #everyonesproblem, and held a reception to mark the 15th anniversary of SafeLives, an organisation that she has worked with for over a decade. In the literary arena, The Duchess hosted a tea for the joint winners of the Booker Prize, and another for Children’s Laureates. She also read a poem as part of the Poetry Together project engaging old and young people and hosted the annual prize-giving ceremony for the Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition.
The Duchess also enjoyed several engagements during the year with other members of the family. In October she joined The Queen for a visit to mark the 750th anniversary of Westminster Abbey and in January, in her role as Chancellor, she presented The Princess Royal with an Honorary Doctorate at the University of Aberdeen. There was also a moment to enjoy a film premiere of the documentary ‘Riding a Dream’ featuring a young jockey, Khadijah Mellah, from Ebony Horse Club who won the Magnolia Cup at Goodwood.
There were other anniversaries and special moments to celebrate this year as well. His Royal Highness marked fifty years since his Investiture as Prince of Wales recollecting in an ITV documentary his memories of touring Wales in the days following his Investiture. “I’ve never seen so many people in all my life”, he said of the visits. The Prince also marked fifty years as Duke of Cornwall running the Duchy of Cornwall which, under his stewardship, has transformed itself into an Estate that not only delivers an income for The Prince as Heir to the throne, but also operates with a deep commitment to protecting the environment and supporting those who live and work on the Estate. Examples of this philosophy were revealed in two-part TV documentary “Prince Charles: Inside The Duchy of Cornwall” which also showed how The Duke of Cambridge is continuing his own close interest in the Estate that he will one day inherit. Finally, it was also the 25th anniversary of the Highgrove Garden tours. Over that time, the tours have raised more than £7m for charitable causes.
During the year Their Royal Highnesses visited communities and organisations the length and breadth of the United Kingdom, including the Defence National Rehabilitation Centre in Leicester, with The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. His Royal Highness joined Her Majesty The Queen at the opening of the Scottish Parliament, and Their Royal Highnesses jointly visited the Royal Welsh Show in Llanelwedd and reopened Hillsborough Castle in Northern Ireland. The Prince of Wales’s itinerary took him to Devon and Cornwall, to Glasgow, to Caithness to open Scotland’s largest offshore windfarm, to Wales to open a new factory for Aston Martin, and to Coventry to open the National Automotive Innovation Centre.
But perhaps the most exciting milestone came in May 2019, when The Prince became a grandfather for the fourth time as The Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcomed their son Archie into the world.
Amidst all this activity there then emerged the Coronavirus pandemic and in March everything stopped. As the world went into lockdown it was confirmed that The Prince had contracted the virus himself. Emerging relatively unscathed after quarantine The Prince remarked that the experience of having this ‘pernicious virus’, although mildly, had given him a greater insight into the challenge we were all facing as a nation and a global community. He also spoke of the need to use this unique moment of lockdown stasis to rebuild our economies with a greater focus on the environment and on community cohesion in the years to come.
The year ended as it had begun in March with a Cuban connection. Following the onset of the Coronavirus, a British cruise ship, whose passengers had suffered an outbreak on board, were refused entry to multiple Caribbean islands. In the end it was the Cubans who came to their aid allowing the ship to dock at Havana, a decision which was understood to have been taken, in part, as a result of the improved Anglo-Cuban relations following Their Royal Highnesses’ visit.
Looking ahead, with the new year already well underway, it is clear that there are many more challenges to come. Amidst the uncertainty, The Prince and The Duchess will continue to support the work of The Queen both here and across the Commonwealth whilst also supporting those on the front line who are working so hard to keep us all safe during these difficult times.
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🚌🚦All aboard! The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall helped celebrate the 20th anniversary of @transportforlondon today with a ride on a new fully electric London bus. Their Royal Highnesses travelled from Clarence House to the London Transport Museum in Covent Garden. Set up in 2000 to bring London’s transport network together under one integrated body, TfL helps tourists and Londoners get around the city safely, by bus, tube and train. Their motto is ‘Keeping London moving’! 🏃
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Today, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall attended the Christening of Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. Archie is the first son of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex. In this photograph, taken in the Green Drawing Room at Windsor Castle, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall are pictured alongside The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Ms Doria Ragland, Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Lady Jane Fellowes. 📷 Chris Allerton /©️SussexRoyal
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During The Prince of Wales’s recent visit to the Netherlands for #Arnhem75, HRH spoke to former gilder pilot Frank Ashleigh in the cockpit of a replica Horsa Glider, which is on display in Oosterbeek. The 94-year-old veteran was a glider pilot during Operation Market Garden in September 1944. During the operation, around 600 gliders landed in the area of Renkum, next to Arnhem, transporting soldiers, vehicles and supplies. Read more about The Prince’s engagements in the Netherlands by following the link in our bio.🇳🇱 📷 PA
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“This is a hard time for everyone, as we are all asked to stay at home to stay safe. But for some of you it is even harder, because home is not a safe place. I can only imagine that being asked to stay there could feel very isolating and frightening for you and your family. It may mean spending more time with the person who is harming you. If this is your situation, or you are worried about someone else, I want you to know that you are not alone. Even if you cannot leave your home, you can call the National Domestic Abuse Helpline or contact one of the domestic abuse charities. Please stay safe and get help." - The Duchess of Cornwall . ☎️📞 If you are in immediate danger, please call 999 and ask for the police. If you are not in immediate danger, please call one of the following 24 hour helplines: England: 0808 2000 247 Northern Ireland: 0808 802 1414 Scotland: 0800 027 1234 Wales: 0808 8010 800 Charity @safelives_ have an online resource that provides information about staying safe during COVID-19 - you can read it by following the link in our bio. @RefugeCharity @womens_aid #EveryonesProblem 📸 PA
Engagements undertaken by The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall
Letters and cards received by The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall