Today, The Duchess of Cornwall visited the Victory Services Club, in her role as Patron-in-Chief, to tour the newly refurbished facilities, including a dining space, kitchens and a new lounge conference room.
The Club was founded in 1907 to promote ‘esprit de corps’ among retired members of the Armed Forces. The Club now has 64,000 members, drawn from the UK Armed Forces, the former serving communities, the Commonwealth and NATO.
As a registered Charity the Club offers Respite & Welfare Breaks to recommended personnel who have suffered a significant welfare issue or injury whilst serving. The breaks include a two-night stay, breakfast, lunch and dinner and tickets to a top London attraction for all the family.
During the tour of the new facilities, The Duchess also saw the newly installed accessible lift, which was partly funded by Help for Heroes, before watching chefs demonstrate some of their work.
At the Club, The Duchess also attended a reception and tea dance to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the British Dance Council, which is the regulator and co-ordinating body for Ballroom, Latin, Classical Sequence and Freestyle Dancing.
During the visit, Her Royal Highness met British Ballroom Champion and British Latin Champion dancers before dancing with former Strictly Come Dancing Head Judge Len Goodman.
As President of The Royal Osteoporosis Society, Her Royal Highness also met supporters who encourage dance as a means of keeping your bones healthy. Alongside the physical benefits, the British Dance Council aims to promote the cultural and educational benefits derived from ballroom dancing.
Her Royal Highness said:
I just wanted to say as President of the Royal Osteoporosis Society how important dancing is for our bones.
I think if we could get a lot more people on to the dancefloor and get them taking this very enjoyable form of exercise, we would be able to do a lot of good for osteoporosis because that sort of exercise improves your bones.
Finally, The Duchess visited the Royal School of Needlework, of which Her Royal Highness is Patron, to launch the new ‘Faces and Figures in Stitch’ exhibition at Hampton Court Palace.
The Duchess saw her own embroidered portrait which will feature in the exhibit amongst over 100 other embroideries of key figures in history, including William Shakespeare, Nelson Mandela and David Bowie.
This special embroidery was created by the school’s Embroidery Studio using the historic Blackwork technique, a form of tonal needlework using just one colour of thread to create different geometric patterns and stitches.
The Duchess of Cornwall is Patron of the RSN after taking over from Her Majesty The Queen in January 2017.