The Duchess of Cornwall carried out engagements in Bristol today, visiting a tea party being held by the Royal Voluntary Service, meeting staff and survivors of domestic abuse at Women’s Aid offices, and meeting members of the public along the city’s North Street.
Her Royal Highness began the day in Bristol at a tea party and swing dance run by the Royal Voluntary Service (RVS), a charity that helps older people stay active and independent. Some of the charity’s beneficiaries, volunteers and supporters had gathered at The Trinity Centre, a former church that is now a hub for the local community, for the event. The Duchess chatted with the party’s attendees, before watching a swing dance demonstration, and taking to the dance floor herself. Her Royal Highness danced with Graeme Puckett of the Hoppin' Mad dance group, as visitors clapped along to the music.
After departing The Trinity Centre, The Duchess of Cornwall travelled to the Women’s Aid offices to meet charity staff and survivors of domestic abuse. Her Royal Highness heard a number of stories from women affected by domestic abuse and how they are working to help Women’s Aid in the support they give to others going through it.
Women's Aid works to end domestic abuse against women and children and has been at the forefront of shaping and coordinating responses to domestic violence and abuse for over 40 years.
The Duchess has worked to raise awareness of domestic violence and hosted a reception at Clarence House last year for survivors of domestic abuse and those working in the field.
Polly Neate, Chief Executive of Women's Aid, said: "Valentine's Day is a day to celebrate love. But, it is not a happy time for everyone. For women living with domestic abuse, Valentine's Day can provide no light relief.
"So, we are especially grateful that The Duchess of Cornwall is championing our work on this significant day, and sending out the powerful message that domestic abuse does not stop on Valentine's Day."
Following the Women’s Aid visit, The Duchess of Cornwall met members of the public and shopkeepers during a walk down North Street in Bristol’s Southville.
Her Royal Highness was able to visit some award winning independent stores, including Ivory Flowers and Zara's Chocolates.
The Duchess watched as chocolatier Zara Narracott made a batch of salted pralines, before trying some of the mixture.
Her Royal Highness also visited Rare Meat Butchers of Southville, winner of the Best Butcher in the Bristol Good Food Awards, and the Southville Deli, where she was presented with a white chocolate heart.