The Duchess of Cornwall last night attended a reception to mark the 150th anniversary of The Royal Commonwealth Society, where it was announced by their President Lord Howell that Her Royal Highness has agreed to become the Society’s inaugural Vice-Patron.
Her Majesty The Queen has been Patron of the Society since 1952.
During the reception, The Duchess said:
As the first Vice Patron of the Royal Commonwealth Society I’m delighted, and honoured, to join you all this evening to celebrate this significant milestone. Over the past 150 years the Royal Commonwealth Society has done so much to promote, both the value, and the values of the modern Commonwealth…you have much of which to be justly proud.
Read The Duchess's speech in full here.
The reception, hosted by Lord Ahmad, Minister of State for the Commonwealth and UN, brought together representatives from Her Majesty’s Government and Accredited Commonwealth Organisation as well as representatives from the Society’s international network of over 60 branches.
The Duchess met guests at the reception, many of whom are doing fantastic work across a huge range of issues, from gender and human rights to environmental conservation and literacy.
Her Royal Highness has been involved with the Society for a number of years with The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition; presenting certificates to winners and runners-up at the annual Awards Ceremony, which takes place at Buckingham Palace. It is the world’s oldest schools international writing competition, founded in 1883 to promote literacy, expression and creativity among young people throughout the Commonwealth. This year’s reception for winners will take place on 22nd November.
The Duchess will accompany The Prince of Wales during a visit to The Gambia, Ghana and Nigeria from 31st October to 8th November 2018. The visit will celebrate the UK’s dynamic, forward-looking partnerships with these Commonwealth Nations on a range of shared priorities.
During last night’s reception, Ghanaian musicians performed on drums from each of the three countries that Their Royal Highnesses will visit later this month.
Her Royal Highness’s programme will include events to meet young people aspiring to enter The Queen's Commonwealth Essay Competition and Commonwealth Big Lunch events.